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Full text of "The sacred book of death, Hindu spiritism, soul transition and soul reincarnation;"

Class C Y I0>\\ 

Book, ,-3 3 

Copyright N° 

COPYRIGHT DEPOSIT. 



i 






The Sacred Book of Death 

Hindu Spiritism 

Soul Transition and Soul 

Reincarnation 



EXCLUSIVE INSTRUCTION for the personal use of Dr. 

de Laurence's Chelas (Disciples) in Hindu Spiritism, 

Soui Transition, Reincarnation, Clairvoy- 

ancy and Occultism 

{Illustrated) 

BY 

DR. L. W. DE LAURENCE 

"The Moses of the Hindus," High-Caste Adept and Famous 
Occult Magician, by Alchemy and Fire 

AUTHOR OF 

"The Great Book of Magical Art, Hindu Magic and East 
Indian Occultism" "The Book of Secret Hindu, Ceremonial 
and Talismanic Magic" "The Holy Bible Defended" 
{An Occult Interpretation of the Books of Holy Script- 
ure, Raising the Astral Body of Samuel, The 
Witch of Endor, etc.) "Medical HypJio- 
sls" {Physician's Edition), "Hindu 
Hypnotism" etc. 



Published and Sold, as authorized by Dr. de Laurence, only by 

The Benares India Publishing Co. 

MASONIC TEMPLE, CHICAGO, ILL. U. S. A. 



PRICE, $8.00 



LIBRARY of CONGRESS 
Two CoDies Received 

JAN 22 1906 

Copyrizht Entry 
/ GLASS CC XXc, No. 
^ ' COPY *B. 







TKT 



COPYRIGHT, 1905 



THE BENARES INDIA 
PUBLISHING CO. 



=DQ= 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

Preface 17 



Introduction . . . . . 19 

CHAPTER I. 
Spiritism ... .... 27 

CHAPTER II. 
The Link or Perispirit 45 

CHAPTER III. 
Hindu Spiritism ...... 57 

CHAPTER IV. 
Insanity ........ 83 



CONTENTS — Continued. 

CHAPTER V. 

Death 130 

CHAPTER VI. 
God 137 

CHAPTER VII. 
Soul and Body 143 

CHAPTER VIII. 
Dreams 153 

CHAPTER IX. 
Death Trance ?■ 173 

CHAPTER X. 

Benevolent Spirits . . . . ... 209 

CHAPTER XI. 
Casting Out Evil Spirits 225 



CONTENTS— Continued. 

CHAPTER XII. 

Familiar Spirits 241 

CHAPTER XIII. 
Sorcerers and Conjurors of Spirits . . . 257 

CHAPTER XIV. 
Revealing the Future 265 

CHAPTER XV. 
Loss of Those we Love . . . . .281 

CHAPTER XVI. 
Resurrection of the Body . . . .287 

CHAPTER XVII. 
Earthly Joys and Sorrows , 293 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
Paradise, Hell and Purgatory . . . 297 



CONTENTS — Continued. 

Page 

CHAPTER XIX. 
Suicide 305 

CHAPTER XX. 
Evil Passions ...... 315 

CHAPTER XXI. 
Selfishness . . . . . . .321 

CHAPTER XXII. 
Reincarnation . ...... 343 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

Lessons in Hindu Spiritism and Magic . 363 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

Instructions for the Invocations and Convoca- 
tion of Spirits ...... 369 

CHAPTER XXV. 
Sacred Magic ....... 393 



Hindu Sanscrit 




J ANSKRIT or SANSCRIT (carefully con- 
structed, symmetrically formed, from sans— 
together, and the pa. par krita— made. It is 
thus opposed to the Prakrit, — common, natural, 
the name given to the vernacular dialect of India). 
IJ The ancient language of the Hindus, and the oldest and 
most primitive of the Indo-European tongues. It has long 
since ceased to be a living language but in it most of the 
literature of the Hindus is written from the oldest portion of 
the Vedas onwards. (Veda). To the scores of tribes and 
nations of discordant speech in India, Sanscrit has long been 
the sacred and literary dialect, and all the cultivated tongues 
of modern India are as full of Sanscrit words as the European 
tongues are of Latin. It is a highly inflected language and to 
philologists is the most valuable of tongues owing to its freedom 
from the corruptions and disguises of phoentic changes and 
from obliteration of the original meaning of its vocables. 
€J The classical Sanscrit is a dialect which, at a later period, 
after the full possession of Hindustan and the development of 
Brahmanism out of the simpler and more primitive religion and 
polity of Vedic times, became established as the literary 
language of the whole country, and has ever since maintained 
that character, being still learned for writing and speaking in 
the Lamasaries and Temples as well as in native schools of 
the Brahmanic priesthood. From the fact that inscriptions 
in a later form of Indian language are found dating from the 
third century B. C, it is inferred that the Sanscrit must at 
least as early as that have ceased to be a vernacular tongue. 

Dr. de Laurence* 



MANDAMUS 



OBEY THIS WARNING! 



CHIS Famous "Book of Death, Hindu Spiritism, 
Soul Transition and Soul Reincarnation" by 

Dr. de Laurence, "The Moses of the Hindus," is the personal property of 



fllJ- 



of the City of _ 



State of_ 



^ The same being a rare and valuable Volume of Ancient Hindu 
Wisdom and Celestial Fire, written and arranged in the Hindu 
manner of Self-Instruction and, in consequence of this, every person is 
vuarned and most earnestly cautioned never to steal the same nor dis- 
tort nor tamper with the Teachings or Formulas given therein, for if 
you steal this Volume or, by intention cause Perversion of the Formulas, 
Sacred Hindu Names or Seals contained therein you will attract an 
Evil Spirit and other Powerful influences ivhich 'will most surely 
do you injury and cause you to regret your damnable actions to 
the day of your death. 

*I Should you be so foolish or rash as to steal this Sacred Volume, 
which is the private property of thy neighbor, before you have read 
and received this Mandamus, return it unto him at once and no harm 
will befall you, but if thee dares to disobey this warning ' ' <woe be 
unto thee, " for the Great System and Order of " Hindu Adepts and 
Master Lamas of India and China" have their Astral and Occult 
Guards who can witness your every action, see and know every thought 
that goes through your brain, and they will not hesitate, for they knoTV 
too well, how to avenge thefts or tampering with their Occult teachings, 
so beware and obey this Mandamus, otherwise you will never know 
peace, fortune or contentment afterwards. 

(Signed) T)r. de Laurence. 



THE BOOK OF DEATH. 

The "Book of Death" explains 

The Miracle and Mystery of life; 

Of trance, and death, where Mystery is rife. 

— Dr. de Laurence. 



PREFACE 



Death and Magic have always been contemporary 
and always shall be in every age of the world. Death 
and Soul Transition, Spirit Communication and 
Magic were contemporaneous with the birth of man 
in this world, which to all were like unto a vale of 
tears. Death and immortality to the soul of the 
western individual is a sad recital throughout, be- 
cause the human heart has in all ages hungered for 
true knowledge of the existence and presence of the 
dear departed. However, they are oftentimes ri- 
diculous owing to the Christian Doctrine and theory 
of atonement which is founded upon a total miscon- 
ception and crude interpretation of the true teaching 
of Spiritism, and are so glaring that little wonder 
it be that the human soul of man recoils from the 
horrible picture painted by many, of the future life 
of man. Oriental teachings and traditions teach 
man the mysteries of his present and future life. 
Eastern magic teaches man the art of performing 
things which surpass the powers of his physical and 
material nature. These teachings are thought by 
some to be more than ordinarily bad, in consequence 
of a compact, expressed or implied, with evil spirits. 



18 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

This is nonsensical, for by True Magic, which same 
not being Sorcery or Black Magic, man can find 
profit and be taught that which is of vital importance 
to himself and family. 

Man will discover Magic at every epoch in his- 
tory. True, man has made use of Magic to domineer 
over man. The chroniclers of every age teem to 
overflowing with narrations of Magical Operations 
as does the far reaching memories of every human 
soul which follows these facts. The Sorcerer and 
his Disciple who pay homage to evil spirits always 
have had their tables heaped with viands and wine, 
as the Witch or Sorcerer may become very power- 
ful indeed in suspending the faculties of man and 
even animals, and alter certain things, also of bind- 
ing to sickness, love or hatred, but in time, surely 
self-torment shall consume his soul, neither shall 
he know any happiness. This is sacred truth, incon- 
trovertible, for remember that that which thee seeks 
thee will attract to thy soul, and what thee asks for 
with thy Occult Powers, for these are the terrible 
instruments of the Sorcerer, thee will surely receive 
a thousand fold, for he who is in league with fa- 
miliar spirits will regret it. 



INTRODUCTION 



The teachings of East Indian Occultism are the 
True Wisdom, and he who hath it not can in no way 
penetrate the True Secrets of Spirit Magic, and he 
but buildeth upon a foundation of sand, and his 
building can in no way last. Many conjurers of 
Black and Devilish Arts have attempted to persuade 
me to be wise, while they themselves, with words 
which I myself well understood, but which is lit- 
tle known, and with extravagant Symbols made bells 
to sound, and while with execrable conjurations 
made appear in glasses him who had committed a 
theft, and they made a liquor causing an old man 
to appear young (and that only for the space of 
two hours and no longer). All these things which 
they indeed taught me, but the whole was but van- 
ity, low curiosity, and a pure deception of the Evil 
Spirits leading to no useful end imaginable, and 
tending to the loss of the Soul. I having the true 
veritable knowledge of the Sacred Hindu Magic, 
and banished them from mine heart and desires. 
These impious conjurers, with the aid and assist- 
ance of Evil Spirits, performed astounding feats. 
They used to render themselves invisible, so as to 



20 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

be able to enter locked-up rooms. They knew our 
greatest secrets, and once they told me things 
which only I alone could know. But this art cost 
them too dearly for the Evil Spirits had made them 
swear in the Pact that they would use all their 
secrets to the dishonor of their friends, and to the 
prejudice of their neighbors. Ultimately their soul 
and body was dragged through deep misery. This 
was all the profits they drew from their Diabolical 
Science and Damnable Magic. In some parts of the 
Orient I found an infinitude of Black Magicians 
who only occupied themselves in killing and maim- 
ing men, in putting discord among married peo- 
ple, in causing divorces, in tying witch-knots in 
osier or willow branches to stop the flow of milk 
in the breasts of nursing women, and similar infa- 
mies. But these miserable wretches had also made 
a Pact with Evil Spirits, and had become their 
slaves, having sworn unto them that they would 
work without cessation to destroy the happiness of 
all living creatures. Some of these had two years 
(for their Pact) to run, some three, and after that 
time they underwent the same fate as all who form 
a Pact with Evil Spirits. At Benares, India, I was 
introduced to a young Indian woman, who one eve- 
ning invited me to go with her, assuring me that 
without any risk she would conduct me to a place 
where I greatly desired to find myself. I allowed 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 21 

myself (in order to find her out) to be persuaded 
by her promises. She then gave unto me an ungent 
with which I rubbed the principal pulses of my feet 
and hands; the which she did also; and at first it 
appeared to me that I was flying in the air in the 
place which I wished, and which I had in no way 
mentioned to her. 

I pass over in silence out of respect for my 
Disciples, that which I saw. After I appeared to 
have remained there a long while, I felt as if I were 
just awakening from a profound sleep, and I had 
a decided pain in my head. I turned round and saw 
that she was seated at my side. She began to ask 
me what I had seen, and that which I had seen was 
something I never wish to behold again. I was, 
however, much astonished, because it appeared to 
me as if I had been really and corporeally in the 
place, and there in reality to have seen that which 
had happened. One day I asked her to go alone to 
that same place, and to bring me back news of a 
Hindu friend whom I knew for certain was distant 
200 leagues. She promised to do so in the space of 
an hour. She rubbed herself with the same ungent, 
and I was very expectant to see her fly away, but 
she fell to the ground and remained there about 
three hours as if she were dead, so that I began to 
think that she really was dead. At last she began 
to stir like a person who is waking, then she rose 



22 DEATH AND HINDU SPIBITISM. 

to an upright position, and with much pleasure 
began to give me the account of her expedition, 
saying that she had been in the place where my 
friend was, and told me all that he was doing; 
which was entirely in keeping with his profession, 
of which I had told her nothing. Whence I con- 
cluded that what she had just told me was not a 
simple dream, and that this ungent was not a causer 
of Astral sleep; whereon she confessed to me that 
this ungent had been given to her by the Evil Spirits. 
All the Arts of the Witches and Conjurers are. 
Enchantments and Fascinations, through which 
wonderful things can be done. But the Evil Spirits 
hold them enchained in these accursed Arts so that 
the Foundation of the True Magic may be unknown 
to them which would render them more powerful 
than they; and I was the more confirmed in this 
opinion because their operations were of no practical 
use whatever, and caused injury unto him who put 
them into practice, as in fact many of them avowed 
plainly to me that they were envious because I was 
an Adept who had the True and Sacred Magic of the 
Hindus. There are also many operations which 
they say are handed down from the Ancient Zuroos. 
There is an Art called White and Black Xoozj; 
another Angelical, Teatim; in which I avow that I 
have seen Orations so learned and beautiful, that 
had I not known the venom therein hidden, I would 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 23 

have given them herein. I say all this because it is 
very easy for him who is not constantly upon his 
guard to err in studying Spirit Magic. 

SYMBOLS 

One old scribbler of symbols taught me many 
enchantments which only tended to work evil. He 
performed other operations by means of Evil Spirits 
and certain secret fumigations, which were all oddv 
and of a triple proportion, in no way similar to the 
other, and for proof of this, he caused by such means 
in my presence a very fine tree which was near our 
Temple to fall to the ground, and all the leaves and 
fruits were consumed in a very short time. And he 
told me that in numbers there was hidden a very 
great Mystery, which I already had knowledge of, 
because that by means of numbers one can perform 
all the operations for friendships, riches, honors, 
love and all sorts of things, good and evil; and he 
assured me that he had tried them, and that some 
that he knew were very true for they had succeeded 
with him. With regard to this particular, I found 
out the reason through an ancient Hindu Priest, 
who told me that this came and depended from a 
Divine Mystery, that is to say, from the Qubalah, 
and that without that, one could not succeed. All 
these things have I beheld, and many others, and 
those who possessed these secrets gave them to me 



24 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

out of friendship. I have never taught these recipes 
afterwards, they being absolutely things very far 
removed from the Will of God, and contrary to the 
charity which we owe unto our neighbor. Every 
learned and prudent man may fall if he be not de- 
fended and guided by the good spirits who advised 
and aided me, and prevented me from falling into 
such a state of wretchedness, and who led me unde- 
serving from the mire of darkness unto the Light 
of the True Magic. I have known and felt the 
effects of the goodness of a certain Wise Hindu 
Priest, who, of his own free will, and before I had 
asked him so to do, accepted me for his Disciple. 
And before that I had declared my wish unto him he 
would accomplish and fulfil my desire; and all that 
I wished to obtain from him he knew before I could 
open my mouth. Also he recounted to me all that 
I had seen, done, and suffered from the time of my 
birth down to that moment; and this in words 
obscure as it were prophetic, which I did not then 
fully comprehend, but which I understood later. 
He told me many things touching my good fortune 
and that my teachings would become famous in 
America, as they have, but which was the principal 
thing, he discovered to me the Source of the Verita- 
ble Magic, which according to their custom, I have 
in turn communicated unto my Disciples, in "The 
Great Book of Magical Art, Hindu Magic and East 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 25 

Indian Occultism/' after they have fulfilled the req- 
uisite conditions without the accomplishment of 
which the power and this Sacred Hindu Magic can- 
not be exercised, and which I have recounted in this 
volume. After he did manifest unto me the Regimen 
of the Mystery of that Sacred Hindu Magic which 
was exercised and put into practice by his fore- 
fathers and progenitors, Razizun, Uzujb, Iquzi and 
Tneby, among whom the last misused it, and he re- 
ceived the punishment thereof during his life. 

In the Great Book of Magical Art I have described 
the whole faithfully and clearly, in order that if the 
Lord God should wish to dispose of me before these 
teachings shall have attained great use in this age, 
thou shalt find this great volume an inestimable 
treasure and a faithful master and teacher, because 
there are very many Powerful Secrets in the Sym- 
bols of this Book which I have made experiment of 
with mine own self and they are perfectly true, and 
which afterwards many of my Disciples which are in 
every country in the world have performed. I found 
no one who worked these things truly without this 
"Great Book of Magical Art," and although many 
have walked in the same path, nevertheless the 
Hindu Priest as a just Judge, did not in any way 
wish to grant unto them the Sacred Magic in its 
entirety, because they desired "The Great Book of 
Magical Art, Hindu Magic and East Indian Occult- 



26 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

ism" to be published by myself. It matters not 
whatever religion you believe in you can arrive at 
the perfection of this work and become a Master, 
but he who hath abandoned Spiritual Law, and em- 
braced Materialism, which is opposed to Spirit 
Magic, can never arrive at a state of happiness and 
condition of mind to be able to climb to the summit 
of this Sacred Art. 

Dr. L. W. de Laurence, 
Adept in Art Magic and Famous Magician by 
Alchemy and Fire. 



CHAPTER I. 

SPIRITISM 

From the Sanscrit writing of the Hindu new 
ideas and new words which are needed, in order 
to secure clearness of language by avoiding the 
confusion inseparable from the employment of the 
same term for expressing different meanings, are 
to be secured. The words spiritual, spiritualist, 
spiritualism, have a definite acceptation; to give 
them a new one, in order to apply them to the doc- 
trines set forth by spirits, would be to multiply the 
causes of amphibology, already so numerous. 
Strictly speaking, Spiritualism is the opposite of 
Materialism; every one is a Spiritualist who be- 
lieves that there is in him something more than 
matter, but it does not follow that he believes in the 
existence of spirits, or in their communication with 
the visible world. Instead, therefore, of the words 
spiritual, spiritualism, employed in these writ- 
ings to designate this latter belief, the words spir- 
itist, spiritism, which, by their form, indicate 
their origin and radical meaning, and have thus the 
advantage of being perfectly intelligible; and we 



28 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

(Ancient Hindu Priests) reserve the words spirit- 
ualism, spiritualist, for the expression of the mean- 
ing attached to them by common acceptation. We 
say, then, that the fundamental principle of the 
spiritist theory, or spiritism, is the relation of the 
material world with spirits, or the beings of the 
invisible world; and we designate the adherents of 
the theory as spiritists. 

In a special sense, "The Book of Death, Wisdom 
and Celestial Fire" contains the doctrine and truth 
of spiritism; in a general sense, it appertains to the 
spiritualist cult, of which it presents one of the 
phases. It is for this reason that I have inscribed 
the words Death and Soul Transition on its title- 
page. 

There is another word of which it is equally nec- 
essary to define the meaning, because it is the key- 
stone of every system of Occultism, and also be- 
cause, owing to the lack of a precise definition, it 
has been made the subject of innumerable contro- 
versies; I refer to the word soul. The divergence 
of opinion concerning the nature of the soul is 
a result of the variety of meanings attached to this 
word. A perfect language, in which every idea 
had its own special term, would save a vast deal of 
discussion; for, in that case, misunderstanding 
would be impossible. 

Some Western writers define the soul as being 



SOUL EEINCAKNATIOtf. 29 

the principle of organic life, having no existence of 
its own, and ceasing with the life of the body. Ac- 
cording to this purely Materialistic belief, the soul 
is an effect, and not a cause. 

Others consider the soul as being the principle 
of intelligence, the universal agent, of which each 
being absorbs a portion. According to them, there 
is, in the entire universe, only one soul, which dis- 
tributes sparks of itself among all intelligent beings 
during their life ; each spark, after the death of the 
being it has animated, returning to the common 
source, and blending again with the general whole, 
as brooks and rivers return to the ocean from which 
they were produced. This opinion differs from the 
preceding one, inasmuch as, according to the latter 
hypothesis, there is in us something more than mat- 
ter, something that remains in existence after our 
DEATH; but, practically, it is much as though 
nothing remained of us, since, no longer possessing 
individuality, we should retain no consciousness of 
our identity. According to this hypothesis, the 
universal soul is God, and each being is a portion of 
the Divinity. It is a species of Pantheism. 

According to others, again, the soul is a moral 
being, distinct, independent of matter, and preserv- 
ing its individuality after death. This acceptation 
of the word soul is certainly the one most generally 
received; because, under one name or another, the 



30 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

idea of a being that survives the body is found as 
an instinctive belief, and independently of all teach- 
ing, among all nations, whatever their degree of 
civilization. This doctrine, according to which the 
soul is a cause, and not an effect, is that of the 
Hindus of Sacred Caste. 

Without discussing the value of these opinions, 
and considering the subject merely under its philo- 
logical aspect, we say that these three applications 
of the word soul constitute three distinct ideas, each 
of which demands a different term. "Soul" has, 
therefore, a triple meaning, and is employed by 
each school according to the special meaning it 
attributes to that word. In order to avoid the con- 
fusion naturally resulting from the use of the same 
word to express three different ideas, it would be 
necessary to confine the word to one of these three 
ideas; it would not matter to which, provided the 
choice were clearly understood. I think it more 
natural to take it in its most common acceptation; 
and for this reason I have employed the word soul 
to indicate the immaterial and individual being 
which resides in us, and survives the body. Even 
if this being did not really exist, and were only a 
product of the imagination, a specific term would 
still be needed to designate it. 

For want of such a term for each of the other 
ideas now loosely understood by the word soul, the 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 31 

Hindus employ the term vital principle to designate 
the material and organic life which, whatever may 
be its source, is common to all living creatures, from 
the plant to man. As life can exist without the 
thinking faculty, the vital principle is something 
distinct from and independent of it. The word 
vitality would not express the same idea. Accord- 
ing to some, the vital principle is a property of mat- 
ter; an effect produced wherever matter is found 
under certain given conditions ; while, in the opinion 
of the greater number of thinkers, it resides in a 
special fluid, universally diffused, and of which eacli 
being absorbs and assimilates a portion during life, 
as inert bodies absorb light; the vital principle 
being identical with the vital fluid, which is gener- 
ally regarded as being the same as the animalized 
electric fluid, designated also as the magnetic fluid, 
the astral fluid, etc. 

However this may be, one fact is certain, for it 
is proved by observation, viz., that organic beings 
possess in themselves a force which, so long as it 
exists, produces the phenomena of life; that physi- 
cal life is common to all organic beings, and is inde- 
pendent of intelligence and thought; that intelli- 
gence and thought are faculties peculiar to certain 
organic species ; and, lastly, that, among the organic 
species endowed with intelligence and thought, there 
is one which is endowed with a special moral sense 



32 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

that gives it an incontestable superiority over the 
others, viz., the human species. 

It is evident that, being employed according to 
various acceptations, the term soul does not exclude 
either Materialism or Pantheism. Spiritualists 
themselves understand the term soul according to 
one or other of the first two definitions, without 
denying the distinct immaterial being, to which, in 
that case, it would give some other name. This 
word, therefore, is not the representative of an 
opinion; it is a Protean term, defined by each after 
his own fashion, and thus giving rise to intermina- 
ble disputes. 

I might also avoid confusion, even while em- 
ploying the word soul in the three senses defined 
above, by adding to it some qualifying term that 
should specify the point of view from which we 
consider it, or the mode in which we apply it. It 
would be, in that case, a generic word, representing 
at once the principles of material life, of intelli- 
gence, and of the moral faculty, each of which 
would be distinguished by an attribute, as is done, 
for example, with the word gas, by adding the 
words hydrogen, oxygen, etc. Thus we might say 
— and it would, perhaps, be the best plan to adopt — 
vital soul for the principle of material life, intel- 
lectual soul for the principle of intelligence, and 
spiritual soul for the principle of our individuality 



SOUL REINCAENATION. 33 

after death; in which case the vital soul would be 
common to all organic beings, plants, animals, and 
men; the intellectual soul would be the peculiar 
property of animals and men ; and the spiritual soul 
would belong to men only. 

I have thought it all the more important to be 
explicit in regard to this point, because the spiritist 
theory is naturally based on the existence in us of 
a being independent of matter, and that survives 
the body. As the word soul will frequently recur 
in the course of these writings, it was necessary to 
define the meaning we attach to it, in order to avoid 
all misunderstanding. 

We now come to the principal object of this pre- 
liminary explanation. 

SPIRIT DOCTRINE 

Spirit doctrine, like all new theories, has its sup- 
porters and its opponents. I shall endeavor to re- 
ply to some of the objections of the latter, by ex- 
amining the worth of the reasons on which they 
are based, without, however, pretending to be able 
to convince everybody, but addressing ourselves to 
those who, without prejudices or preconceived 
ideas, are sincerely and honestly desirous of arriv- 
ing at the truth; and we will prove to them that 
those objections are the result of a too hasty con- 
clusion in regard to facts imperfectly observed. 



34 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

Of the facts referred to, the one first observed 
was the receiving of correct communications from 
Astral Spirits, popularly called "spiritualism." This 
phenomenon, which many supposed to be first ob- 
served in their particular country (was only re- 
newed, for history proves it to have been produced 
in the most remote ages of antiquity), was attend- 
ed with various strange accompaniments, such as 
unusual noises, raps produced without any ostensi- 
ble cause, etc. From India this phenomenon spread 
rapidly over Europe and the rest of the world. It 
was met at first with incredulity; but the spirit 
messages were received by so many experimenters 
that it soon became impossible to doubt their real- 
ity. 

If the phenomenon in question had been limited 
to the movement of inert objects, it might have 
been possible to explain it by some purely physical 
cause. The Western men are far from knowing all 
the secret agencies of nature, or all the properties 
of those which are known to us. Astral forces, 
moreover, are not only multiplying, day by day, the 
resources they offer to mankind, but appear to be 
about to irradiate science with a new light. It 
seemed, therefore, by no means impossible that 
Astral Forces, modified by certain circumstances, or 
some other unknown agent, might be the cause of 
these spirit messages and other phenomena. The 



SOUL EE1NCAKNATION. 35 

fact that the presence of several persons in- 
creased the intensity of the action appeared to 
strengthen this supposition; for the union of these 
might not inaptly be regarded as constituting a 
battery, of which the power was in proportion to 
the number of its elements. 

That the movement of tables should be cir- 
cular was in no way surprising, for the circular 
movement is of frequent occurrence in nature. All 
the stars move in circles; and it, therefore, seemed 
to be possible that in the movement of the tables 
we had a reflex on a small scale of the movement 
of the universe; or that some cause, hitherto un- 
known, might produce, accidentally, and, in regard 
to small objects, a current analogous to that which 
impels the worlds of the universe in their orbits. 

But the movement in question was not always 
circular. It was often irregular, disorderly; the 
object moved was sometimes violently shaken, over- 
thrown, carried about in various directions, and, in 
contravention of all known laws of statics, lifted 
from the ground and held up in the air. Still, in 
all this, there was nothing that might not be ex- 
plained by the force of some invisible physical 
agent. Do we not see electricity overthrow build- 
ings, uproot trees, and hurl to considerable dis- 
tances the heaviest bodies, attracting or repelling, 
as the case may be? 



36 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

The rappings and other unusual noises, supposing 
them to be due to something else than the dilatation 
of the wood, or other accidental cause, might very 
well be produced by an accumulation of the mys- 
terious fluid; for does not electricity produce the 
loudest sounds? 

Up to this point everything might be considered 
as belonging to the domain of physics and physiol- 
ogy. Without going beyond this circle of ideas, the 
learned might have found in the phenomenon re- 
ferred to matter well worthy of serious study. Why 
was this not done? It is painful to be obliged to 
make the confession, but the neglect of the scientific 
world was due to causes that add one more proof 
to the many already given of the frivolity of the 
Western mind. In the first place, the commonness 
of the Hindus who mainly served as the basis of 
the earliest experimentations had something to do 
with this disdain. What an influence, in regard to 
even the most serious matters, is often exerted by a 
mere word! Without reflecting that the messages 
referred to might be communicated to any person, 
the idea of the Hindus became associated with it 
in the general mind, doubtless because the Hindu, 
being the best developed mentally, and also because 
these people can place themselves in a receptive state 
more conveniently than any other race of peo- 
ple, who interest themselves in the experiments 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 37 

referred to. But men who pride themselves on 
their mental superiority are sometimes so puerile 
as to warrant the suspicion that a good many keen 
and cultivated minds may have considered it be- 
neath them to take any notice of what was com- 
monly known as "Hindu Occultism." If the phe- 
nomenon observed by Ijuna had been made known 
by some Hindu adept, and dubbed with some ab- 
surd nickname, it would probably have -been con- 
signed to the lumber-room, along with the divining- 
rod; for where is the scientist who would not in 
that case have regarded it as derogatory to occupy 
himself with spiritism? 

A few men of superior intellect, however, being 
modest enough to admit that nature might not 
have revealed to them all her Occult secrets, con- 
scientiously endeavored to see into the matter for 
themselves; but the phenomenon not having al- 
ways responded to their attempts, and not being al- 
ways produced at their pleasure, and according to 
their methods of experimenting, they arrived at 
an adverse conclusion in regard to them. The mas- 
ters of India, however, despite that conclusion, con- 
tinued to develop psychic powers; and we may say 
of them, with Galileo, "Nevertheless, they move!" 
We may assert, still further, that the facts alluded 
to have been multiplied to such an extent that they 
have become naturalized among Western people, so 



38 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

that opinions are now only divided as to their na- 
ture. 

And here let mt ask whether the fact that these 
phenomena are not always produced in exactly the 
same way, and according to the wishes and require- 
ments of each individual observer, can be reason- 
ably regarded as constituting an argument against 
their reality ? Are not the phenomena of electricity 
and chemistry subordinated to certain conditions, 
and should we be right in denying their reality be- 
cause they do not occur when those conditions are 
not present? Is it strange, then, that certain con- 
ditions should be necessary to the production of 
the phenomena of spirit communication by the 
Astral Spirits, or that it should not occur when the 
observer, placing himself at his own individual 
point of view, insists on producing it at his own 
pleasure, or in subjecting it to the laws of phe- 
nomena already known, without considering that a 
new order of facts may, and, indeed, must, result 
from the action of laws equally new to us? Now, 
in order to arrive at a knowledge of such laws, it is 
necessary to study the circumstances under which 
those facts are produced ; and such a study can only 
be made through long-sustained and attentive obser- 
vation. 

"But," it is often objected, "there is evident trick- 
ery in some of the occurrences referred to." To 



SOUL EEINCAKNATION. 39 

this objection I reply, in the first place, by asking 
whether the objectors are quite sure that what they 
have taken for trickery may not be simply an order 
of facts which they are not yet able to account for, 
as was the case with the peasant who mistook the 
experiments of a learned professor of physics for 
the tricks of a clever conjuror? But even admitting 
that there has been trickery in some cases, is that a 
reason for denying the reality of facts? Must we 
deny the reality of physics because certain conjurors 
give themselves the title of physicists? Moreover, 
the character of the persons concerned in these 
manifestations should be taken into* account, and 
the interest they may have in deceiving. Would 
they do so by way of a joke? A joke may amuse 
for a moment, but a mystification, if kept up too 
long, would become as wearisome to the mystifler 
as to the mystified. Besides, a mystification carried 
on from one end of the earth to the other, and 
among the most serious, honorable, and enlightened 
people, would be at least as extraordinary as the 
phenomena in question. 

If the phenomena we are considering had been 
limited to the movement of objects, they would 
have remained as we have already remarked, within 
the domain of physical science; but so far was this 
from being the case, that they speedily proved to be 
only the forerunners of facts of a character still 



40 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

more extraordinary. For it was soon found that 
the impulsion communicated to inert objects was 
not the mere product of a blind mechanical force, 
but that it revealed the action of an intelligent cause, 
a discovery that opened up a new field of observa- 
tion, and promised a solution of many mysterious 
problems. Are these communications and move- 
ments due to an intelligent power? Such was the 
question first to be answered. If such a power exists, 
what is it? What is its nature? What its origin? Is 
it superhuman? Such were the secondary ques- 
tions which naturally grew out of that first one. 

EARLIEST MANIFESTATIONS 

The earliest manifestations of intelligence were 
made by writings of Sanscrit through Hindu me- 
diums. Even here, it must be confessed, there 
was nothing very convincing for the incredulous, as 
these apparent writings might be an effect of chance. 
But fuller communications were soon obtained, so 
that words and sentences began to be produced in 
reply to the questions propounded. The correct- 
ness of these replies, their correlation with the ques- 
tions asked, excited astonishment. The mysterious 
being who gave these replies, when questioned as 
to its nature, declared itself to be a "spirit" or 
"soul," gave itself a name, and stated various 
particulars about itself. This is a circumstance of 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 41 

noteworthy importance, for it proves that no one 
suggested the idea of spirits as an explanation of 
the phenomenon, but that the phenomenon gave this 
explanation of itself. Hypotheses are often framed, 
in the positive sciences, to serve as a basis of argu- 
ment; but such was not the case in this instance. 

The mode of communication furnished by these 
spirits formed entire discourses, filling many 
pages, treating of the deepest questions of philos- 
ophy, morality, metaphysics, psychology, spiritism, 
occultism, etc., and as rapidly as though written by 
the hand of a philosopher instead of a common 
Hindu medium. 

This presented itself simultaneously all over 
India and in various other countries. 

Do these intelligences reside in the human race, 
or are they beyond the pale of humanity? Such is 
the next point to be cleared up, and of which the 
complete explanation will be found in the present 
work, such as it has been given by the spirits them- 
selves, to be written in Sanscrit. 

Spirit manifestations in India do not occur 
mysteriously, but in broad daylight, so that every 
one can see them and ascertain their reality; they 
are not the privilege of a single individual, but are 
obtained by tens of thousands of persons every day 
at pleasure. These effects have necessarily a cause; 
and as they reveal the action of an intelligence and 



42 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

a will, they are evidently beyond the domain of 
merely physical effects. 

Many theories have been broached in relation to 
this subject; these we shall presently examine, and 
shall then be able to decide whether they can ac- 
count for all the facts now occurring. Let us, 
meanwhile, assume the existence of beings distinct 
from the Earth Plane, since such is the explana- 
tion given of themselves by the intelligences thus 
revealed to us, and let us see what they say to us. 

The beings who thus enter into communication 
with us designate themselves,, as I have said, by the 
name of spirits or souls, and as having belonged, in 
many cases at least, to men who have lived upon the 
earth. They say that they constitute the spiritual 
world, as we, during our earthly life, constitute the 
corporeal world. 

I will now briefly sum up the most important 
points of Hindu Magic doctrine which they have 
transmitted to me, in order to reply more easily to 
the objections of the incredulous. 

"God is eternal, immutable, immaterial, unique, 
all-powerful, sovereignly just and good. 

"He has created the universe, which compre- 
hends all beings, animate and inanimate, material 
and immaterial. 

"The material beings constitute the visible or 
corporeal world, and the immaterial beings consti- 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 43 

tute the invisible or spiritual world, that is to say, 
the spirit-world, or world of spirits. 

"The spirit-world is the normal, primitive, eter- 
nal world, pre-existent to, and surviving, everything 
else. 

"The corporeal world is only secondary; it might 
cease to exist, or never have existed, without chang- 
ing the essentiality of the spiritual world. 

"Spirits temporarily assume a perishable material 
envelope, the destruction of which, by death, re- 
stores them to liberty. 

"Among the different species of corporeal be- 
ings, God has chosen the human species for the in- 
carnation of spirits arrived at a certain degree of 
development; it is this which gives it a moral and 
intellectual superiority to all the others. 

"The soul is an incarnated spirit, whose body is 
only its envelope. 

"There are in man three things : ( i ) The body, 
or material being, analogous to the animals, and 
animated by the same vital principle; (2) the soul, 
or immaterial being, a spirit incarnated in the body ; 
(3) the link which unites the soul and the body, a 
principle intermediary between matter and spirit. 

"Man has thus two natures : by his body he par- 
ticipates in the nature of the animals, of which it 
has the instincts ; by his soul, he participates in the 
nature of spirits. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE LINK OR PERISPIRIT 

"The link, or perispirit, which unites the body 
and the spirit, is a sort of semi-material envelope. 
Death is the destruction of the material body, which 
is the grossest of man's two envelopes ; but the spirit 
preserves his other envelope, viz., the perispirit, 
which constitutes for him an ethereal body, invisible 
to us in its normal state, but which he can render 
occasionally visible, and even tangible, as is the case 
in apparitions. 

"A spirit, therefore, is not an abstract, undefined 
being, only to be conceived of by our thought; it is 
a real, circumscribed being, which, in certain cases, 
is appreciable by the senses of sight, hearing and 
touch. 

"Spirits belong to different classes, and are not 
equal to one another either in power, in intelligence, 
in knowledge, or in morality. Those of the high- 
est orders are distinguished from those below them 
by their superior purity and knowledge, their near- 
ness to God, and their love of goodness; they are 
"angels" or "pure spirits." The other classes are 



46 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

more and more distant from this perfection; those 
of the lower ranks are inclined to most of our pas- 
sions, hatred, envy, jealousy, pride, etc. ; they take 
pleasure in evil. Among them are some who are 
neither very good nor very bad, but are teazing and 
troublesome rather than malicious, are often mis- 
chievous and unreasonable, and may be classed as 
giddy and foolish spirits. 

"Spirits do not belong perpetually to the same 
order. All are destined to attain perfection by 
passing through the different degrees of the spirit- 
hierarchy. This amelioration is effected by incar- 
nation, which is imposed on some of them as an 
expiation, and on others as a mission. Material 
life is a trial which they have to undergo many 
times until they have attained to absolute perfec- 
tion; it is a sort of filter, or alembic, from which 
they issue more or less purified after each new in- 
carnation. 

"On quitting the body, the soul re-enters the 
world of spirits from which it came, and from which 
it will enter upon a new material existence, after a 
longer or shorter lapse of time, during which its 
state is that of an errant or wandering spirit* 



*There is, between this doctrine of reincarnation and that of 
metempsychosis, as held by certain sects in India, a characteristic 
difference, which is explained in the course of the present work. 



SOUL REINCAENATION. 47 

"Spirits having to pass through many incarna- 
tions, it follows that we have all had many exist- 
ences, and that we shall have others, more or less 
perfect, either upon this earth or in other worlds. 

"The incarnation of spirits always takes place in 
the human race; it would be an error to suppose 
that the soul or spirit could be incarnated in the 
body of an animal. 

"A spirit's successive corporeal existences are al- 
ways progressive, and never retrograde; but the 
rapidity of our progress depends on the efforts we 
make to arrive at perfection. 

"The qualities of the soul are those of the spirit 
incarnated in us; thus, a good man is the incarna- 
tion of a good spirit, and a bad man is that of an 
unpurified spirit. 

"The soul possessed its own individuality before 
its incarnation; it preserves that individuality after 
its separation from the body. 

"On its re-entrance into the spirit world, the soul 
again finds all those whom it has known upon the 
earth, and all its former existences eventually come 
back to its memory, with the remembrance of all the 
good and of all the evil which it has done in them. 

"The incarnated spirit is under the influence of 
matter; the man who surmounts this influence, 
through the elevation and purification of his soul, 



48 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

raises himself nearer to the superior spirits, among 
whom he will one day be classed. He who allows 
himself to be ruled by bad passions, and places all 
his delight in the satisfaction of his gross animal 
appetites, brings himself nearer to the impure spir- 
its, by giving preponderance to his animal nature. 

"Incarnated spirits inhabit the different globes of 
the universe. 

"Spirits who are not incarnated, who are errant, 
do not occupy any fixed and circumscribed region; 
they are everywhere, in space, and around us, see- 
ing us, and mixing with us incessantly; they con- 
stitute an invisible population, constantly moving 
and busy about us, on every side. 

"Spirits exert an incessant action upon the moral 
world, and even upon the physical world ; they act 
both upon matter and upon thought, and consti- 
tute one of the powers of nature, the efficient cause 
of many classes of phenomena hitherto unexplained 
or misinterpreted, and of which only the spiritist 
theory can give a rational explanation. 

"Spirits are incessantly in relation with men. The 
good spirits try to lead us into the right road, sus- 
tain us under the trials of life, and aid us to bear 
them with courage and resignation; the bad ones 
tempt us to evil ; it is a pleasure for them to see us 
fall, and to make us like themselves. 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 491 

"The communications of spirits with men are 
either occult or ostensible. Their occult communi- 
cations are made through the good or bad influence 
they exert on us without our being aware of it ; it is 
our duty to distinguish, by the exercise of our judg- 
ment, between the good and the bad inspirations 
that are thus brought to bear upon us. Their osten- 
sible communications take place by means of writ- 
ing, of speech, or of other physical manifestations, 
and usually through the intermediary of the me- 
diums who serve as their instruments. 

"Spirits manifest themselves spontaneously, or 
in response to evocation. All spirits may be evoked : 
those who have animated the most obscure of mor- 
tals, as well as those of the most illustrious per- 
sonages, and whatever the epoch at which they 
lived; those of our relatives, our friends, or our 
enemies; and we may obtain from them, by written 
or by verbal communications, counsels, information 
in regard to their situation beyond the grave, their 
thoughts in regard to us, and whatever revelations 
they are permitted to make to us. 

"Spirits are attracted by their sympathy with the 
moral quality of the parties by whom they are 
evoked. Spirits of superior elevation take pleasure 
in meetings of a serious character, animated by the 
love of goodness and the sincere desire of instruc- 
tion and improvement. Their presence repels the 



50 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

spirits of inferior degree, who find, on the con- 
trary, free access and freedom of action among per- 
sons of frivolous disposition, or brought together 
by mere curiosity, and wherever evil instincts are 
to be met with. So far from obtaining from spirits, 
under such circumstances, either good advice or 
useful information, nothing is to be expected from 
them but trifling, lies, ill-natured tricks, or hum- 
bugging; for they often borrow the most venerated 
names, in order the better to impose upon those with 
whom they are in communication. 

THE LANGUAGE OF SPIRITS 

"It is easy to distinguish between good and bad 
spirits. The language of spirits of superior eleva- 
tion is constantly dignified, noble, characterized by 
the highest morality, free from every trace of earth- " 
ly passion; their counsels breathe the purest wis- 
dom, and always have our improvement and the 
good of mankind for their aim. The communica- 
tions of spirits of lower degree, on the contrary, 
are full of discrepancies, and their language is often 
commonplace, and even coarse. If they sometimes 
say things that are good and true, they more often 
make false and absurd statements, prompted by 
ignorance or malice. They play upon the credulity 
of those who interrogate them, amusing themselves 
by flattering their vanity, and fooling them with 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 51 

false hopes. In a word, instructive communications 
worthy of the name are only to be obtained in cen- 
ters of a serious character, whose members are 
united, by an intimate communion of thought and 
desire, in the pursuit of truth and goodness. 

"The moral teaching of the higher spirits may be 
summed up, like that of Christ, in the gospel maxim, 
'Do unto others as you would that others should 
do unto you;* that is to say, do good to all, and 
wrong to none. This principle of action furnishes 
mankind with a rule of conduct of universal appli- 
cation, from the smallest matters to the greatest. 

"They teach us that selfishness, pride, sensuality, 
are passions which bring us back towards the ani- 
mal nature, by attaching us to matter ; that he who, 
in this lower life, detaches himself from matter 
through contempt of worldly trifles, and through 
love of the neighbor, brings himself back towards 
the spiritual nature; that we should all make our- 
selves useful, according to the means which God 
has placed in our hands for our trial ; that the strong 
and the powerful owe aid and protection to the 
weak; and that he who misuses strength and power 
to oppress his fellow creature violates the law of 
God. They teach us that in the spirit world nothing 
can be hidden, and that the hypocrite will there be 
unmasked, and all his wickedness unveiled; that the 
presence, unavoidable and perpetual, of those whom 



52 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

we have wronged in the earthly life is one of the 
punishments that await us in the spirit world; and 
that the lower or higher state of spirits gives rise in 
that other life to sufferings or to enjoyments un- 
known to us upon the earth. 

"But they also teach us that there are no unpar- 
donable sins, none that cannot be effaced by expia- 
tion. Man finds the means of accomplishing this 
in the different existences which permit him to ad- 
vance progressively, and according to his desire 
and his efforts, towards the perfection that consti- 
tutes his ultimate aim. ,, 

Such is the sum of spiritist doctrine, as contained 
in the teachings given by spirits of high degree. 
Let us now consider the objections that are urged 
against it. 

Many persons regard the opposition of the learned 
world as constituting, if not a proof, at least a very 
strong presumption, of the falsity of spiritism. The 
Hindu Priests are not of those who affect indif- 
ference in regard to the judgment of scientific men ; 
on the contrary, we hold them in great esteem, and 
should think it an honor to be of their number, but 
we cannot consider their opinion as being, under all 
circumstances, necessarily and absolutely conclusive. 

When the votaries of science go beyond the bare 
observation of facts, when they attempt to appraise 
and to explain those facts, they enter upon the field 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 53 

of conjecture; each advances a system of his own, 
which he does his utmost to bring into favor, and 
defends with might and main. Do we not see every 
day the most divergent systems brought forward 
and rejected, one after the other; now cried down 
as absurd errors, and now cried up as incontestable 
truths? Facts are the sole criterion of reality, the 
sole argument that admits of no reply: in the ab- 
sence of facts, the wise man suspends his judgment. 
In regard to all matters that have already been 
fully examined, the verdict of the learned is justly 
held to be authoritative, because their knowledge of 
them is fuller and more enlightened than that of 
ordinary men ; but in regard to occult facts or prin- 
ciples, to matters imperfectly known, their opinion 
can only be hypothetic, because they are no more 
exempt from prejudice than other people. It may 
even be said that scientific men are more apt to be 
prejudiced than the rest of the world, because each 
of them is naturally inclined to look at everything 
from the special point of view that has been adopted 
by him ; the mathematician admitting no other order 
of proof than that of an algebraic demonstration, 
the chemist referring everything to the action of 
the elements, etc. When a man has made for 
himself a specialty, he usually devotes his whole 
mind to it ; beyond the scope of this specialty he often 
reasons falsely, because, owing to the weakness of 



54 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

human reason, he insists on treating every subject 
in the same way; and, therefore, while we should 
willingly and confidently consult a chemist in re- 
gard to a question of analysis, a physicist in regard 
to electricity, a mechanician in regard to a motive 
power, we must be allowed, without in any way 
derogating from the respect due to their special 
knowledge, to attach no more weight to their unfa- 
vorable opinion of spiritism than we should do to 
the judgment of an architect on a question relating 
to the theory of music. 



56 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 



MYSTIC INDIA. 

Oh Mystic India; with many centuries span 

Of wondrous growth, almost Utopian 

Pulsating center of Astral Force, 

Whose Spirit Art to Man impart 

The Treasures this Power alone Provides. 

Whose Masters give back enriching tides 

Of life and Spiritual progress, 

For thy Occult Knowledge, 

All ages and Nations come to thee, 

The Prophet and Seer of which 

The Western Mind has dreamed 

Has, in thy Mystic Beauty 

Been realized and made to reach 

Their culmination. 

— Dr. de Laurence. 



CHAPTER III. 

HINDU SPIRITISM 

The positive sciences are based on the properties 
of matter, which may be experimented upon and 
manipulated at pleasure; but spiritist phenomena are 
an effect of the action of astral spirits who have 
wills of their own, and who constantly show us that 
they are not subjected to ours. The observation of 
facts, therefore, cannot be carried on in the latter 
case in the same way as in the former one, for they 
proceed from another source, and require special 
conditions; and, consequently, to insist upon sub- 
mitting them to the same methods of investigation 
is to insist on assuming the existence of analogies 
that do not exist. Science, properly so called, is, 
therefore, incompetent, as such, to decide the ques- 
tion of the truth of spiritism : it has nothing to do 
with it; and its verdict in regard to it, whether fa- 
vorable or otherwise, is of no weight. Spiritist be- 
lief is the result of a personal conviction that scien- 
tific men may hold as individuals, and independent 
of their quality as scientists; but to submit the 
question to the decision of physical science would be 



58 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

much the same thing as to set a company of 
physicists and astronomers to decide the question 
of immortality. Hindu spiritism deals exclusively 
with the existence of the soul, and its state after 
death; and it is supremely unreasonable to assume 
that a man must be a great psychologist simply be- 
cause he is a great mathematician or a great anato- 
mist. The anatomist, when dissecting a human 
body, looks for the soul, and, as he does not find it 
under his scalpel as he finds a nerve, or see it evapo- 
rate as does a gas, he concludes^ that it does not 
exist, because he reasons from an exclusively mate- 
rial point of view; but it by no means follows that 
he is right, and that the opinion of the rest of the 
world is wrong. We see, therefore, that the task of 
deciding as to the truth or falsity of spiritism does 
not fall within the scope of physical science. When 
spiritist beliefs shall have become generalized, when 
they shall have been accepted by the masses (and, if 
I may judge by the rapidity with which they are 
being propagated, that time can hardly be very dis- 
tant), it will be with those beliefs as with all new 
ideas that have encountered opposition; and scien- 
tific men will end by yielding to the force of evi- 
dence. They will be brought, individually, by the 
force of things, to admit ideas that they now reject; 
and, until then, it would be premature to turn them 
from their special studies in order to occupy them 



SOUL EELNCAKNATION. 59 

with a matter which is foreign alike to their habits 
of thought and to their spheres of investigation. 
Meanwhile, those who, without a careful prepara- 
tory study of the matter, pronounce a negative ver- 
dict in regard to it, and throw ridicule upon all who 
are not of their way of thinking, forget that such 
has been done in regard to nearly all the great dis- 
coveries that honor the human race. 

The erroneous judgments of learned men in re- 
gard to certain discoveries, though regrettable for 
the honor of their memory, do not invalidate the 
title to> our esteem acquired by them in regard to 
other matters. But is common sense only to be 
found associated with an official diploma, and are 
there only fools and simpletons outside the walls of 
scientific institutions? Let our opponents conde- 
scend to glance over the ranks of the partisans of 
spiritism in the temples of India and see whether 
they contain only persons of inferior understand- 
ings, or whether, on the contrary, considering the 
immense number of men of worth by whom it has 
been embraced, it can be regarded as belonging to 
the category of old wives' fables; whether, in fact, 
the character and scientific knowledge of its ad- 
herents do not rather deserve that it should be said : 
"When such men affirm a matter, there must at 
least be something in it?" 

I repeat that, if the facts we are about to consider 



60 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

had been limited to the mechanical movement of 
inert bodies, physical science would have been com- 
petent to seek out the physical cause of the phe- 
nomena; but the manifestations in question being 
professedly beyond the action of laws or forces yet 
known to men, they are necessarily beyond the com- 
petence of human science. When the facts to be 
observed are novel, and do not fall within the scope 
of any known science, the scientist, in order to study 
them, should throw his science temporarily aside, 
remembering that a new study cannot be fruitfully 
prosecuted under the influence of preconceived 
ideas. 

He who believes his reason to be infallible is very 
near to error. Even those whose ideas are of the 
falsest profess to base them on reason; and it is in 
the name of reason that they reject whatever seems 
to them to be impossible. They who formerly re- 
jected the admirable discoveries that are the glory 
of the human mind did so in the name of reason; 
for what men call reason is often only pride dis- 
guised, and whoever regards himself as infallible 
virtually claims to be God's equal. I, therefore, ad- 
dress myself to those who are reasonable enough to 
suspend their judgment in regard to what they have 
not yet seen, and who, judging of the future by the 
past, do not believe that man has reached his apogee, 



SOUL BEINCAfctfATlON. 61 

or that nature has turned over for him the last leaf 
of her book. 

Let me add that the study of such a theory as that 
of spiritism and magic, which introduces me at 
once to an order of phenomena so novel and so 
grand, can only be fruitfully pursued by persons of 
a serious turn of mind, persevering, free from 
prejudice, and animated by a firm and sincere de- 
termination to arrive at the truth. We could not 
give this qualification to those who decide, in re- 
gard to such a subject, a priori, lightly, and with- 
out thorough examination; who bring to the work 
of study neither the method, the regularity, nor the 
sustained attention necessary to success: still less 
could we give it to those who, not to lose their repu- 
tation for wit and sharpness, seek to turn into ridi- 
cule matters of the most serious import, or that are 
judged to be such by persons whose knowledge, 
character, and convictions should command respect. 
Let those who consider the facts in question as un- 
worthy of their attention abstain from studying 
these writings; no one would attempt to interfere 
with their belief ; but let them, on their part, respect 
the belief of those who are of a contrary opinion. 

The characteristics of serious study are the 
method and the perseverance with which it is car- 
ried on. Is it strange that sensible answers are not 
always obtained from spirits in reply to questions 



62 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

which, however serious in themselves, are pro- 
pounded at random, and in the midst of a host of 
others, unconnected, frivolous, or foolish? Besides, 
a question is often complex, and the answer to it, 
in order to be clear, needs to be preceded, or com- 
pleted, by various considerations. Whoever would 
acquire any science must make it the object of 
methodical study, must begin at the beginning, and 
follow out the sequence and development of the ideas 
involved in it. If one who is ignorant of the most 
elementary facts of a science should ask a question 
in regard to it of the most learned of its professors, 
could the professor, however excellent his learning, 
give him any satisfactory answer ? For any isolated 
answer, given under such conditions, must neces- 
sarily be incomplete, and would, therefore, in many 
cases, appear unintelligible, or even absurd. It is 
exactly the same in regard to the relations which 
we establish with spirits. If we would learn in their 
school, we must go through a complete course of 
teaching with them; but, as among ourselves, we 
must select our teachers, and work on with steadi- 
ness and assiduity. 

I have said that spirits of superior advancement 
are only attracted to centers in which there reigns a 
serious desire for light, and, above all, a perfect 
communion of thought and feeling in the pursuit of 
moral excellence. Frivolity and idle curiosity repel 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 63 

them, just as, among men, they repel all reasonable 
people ; and the road is thus left open to the mob of 
foolish and lying spirits who are always about us, 
watching for opportunities of mocking us and 
amusing themselves at our expense. What becomes 
of any serious question in such a gathering? It 
will certainly be replied to, but by whom? It is 
just as though, in the midst of a convivial dinner- 
party, you should suddenly propound such questions 
as "What is the soul? What is death?" or others 
equally out of harmony with the tone of the con> 
pany. If we would obtain serious answers, we must 
ourselves be serious, and must place ourselves in 
the conditions required for obtaining them; it is 
only by so doing that we shall obtain any satisfac- 
tory and ennobling communications. We must, 
moreover, be laborious and persevering in our in- 
vestigations, otherwise the higher spirits will cease 
to trouble themselves about us, as the professor 
ceases to occupy himself with the hopelessly idle 
members of his class. 

The movement of inert bodies and spirit com- 
munication is a fact already proved by experience; 
the point now to be ascertained is, whether there is, 
or is not, a manifestation of intelligence in this 
movement separate from the medium, and, if there 
is, what is the source of this intelligence? We are 
not speaking of the intelligence displayed in the 



64 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

movement of certain objects, nor of verbal com- 
munications, nor even of those which are written 
directly by the medium: these manifestations, of 
which the spirit-origin is evident for those who 
have thoroughly investigated the matter, are not, 
at first sight, sufficiently independent of the will of 
the medium to bring conviction to an observer new 
to the subject. We will, therefore, only speak, in 
this place, of writing obtained without the aid of an 
object of any kind provided with a pencil, such as 
a small basket, a planchette, etc., the fingers of the 
medium being placed upon the object in such a man- 
ner as to defy the most consummate skill to exercise 
the slightest influence on the tracing of the letters. 
But let us suppose that, by some wonderful clever- 
ness, the medium succeeds in deceiving the most 
keenly observant eye, how can we explain the na- 
ture of the communications, when they are alto- 
gether beyond the scope of the medium's knowledge 
and ideas? In the temples of India an adept will 
have many pages of Occult teachings, dashed off, as 
frequently happens, with the most astonishing 
rapidity, sometimes spontaneously, and sometimes 
upon a given subject; of poems of elevated char- 
acter, and irreproachable in point of style, produced 
by the hand of an Adept or Master. And what 
adds to the strangeness of these facts is, that 
they are occurring all over India, and that the num- 



SOUL BEINCAENATION. 65 

ber of mediums is constantly increasing. Are these 
facts real or not ? To this query I have but one re- 
ply to make: "See and observe; opportunities of 
doing so will not be lacking; but, above all, observe 
often, for a long time, and according to the condi- 
tions required for so doing." 

To the evidence adduced by us, what do our an- 
tagonists reply? "You are," say they, "the dupes of 
imposition or the sport of illusion." We have to 
remark, in the first place, that imposition is not 
likely to occur where no profit is to be made ; charla- 
tans are not apt to ply their trade gratis. If impo- 
sition be practiced, it must be for the sake of a joke. 
But by what strange coincidence does there happen 
to be an understanding between the jokers, from 
one end of the earth to the other, to act in the same 
way, to produce the same effects, and to give, upon 
the same subjects, and in different languages, re- 
plies that are identical, if not in words, at least in 
meaning? How is it that grave, serious, honorable, 
and educated masters can lend themselves to such 
maneuvers, and for what purpose? How is it that 
the requisite patience and skill for carrying on such 
a piece of deception are found even in young chil- 
dren ? For mediums, if they are not passive instru- 
ments, must possess a degree of skill, and an amount 
and variety of knowledge, incompatible with the age 
and social position of many of them. 



66 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

"But," urge our opponents, "if there be no trick- 
ery, both parties may be the dupes of an illusion." 
It is only reasonable that the quality of witnesses 
should be regarded as an element in deciding the 
value of their evidence; and it may fairly be asked 
whether the spiritist theory, whose adherents are 
already to be counted by millions, recruits these only 
among the ignorant? The phenomena on which it 
is based is not so extraordinary that we need ad- 
mit any reasonableness of doubt in regard to them; 
again what is not admissible is the pretension of 
certain Western skeptics to a monopoly of common 
sense, and the unceremonious way in which, regard- 
less of the moral worth of their adversaries, they tax 
all who< are not of their opinion with infatuation or 
stupidity. For the affirmation of enlightened Adepts 
and priests in India and other persons who have, for 
a long time, seen, studied, and meditated any matter, 
is always, if not a proof, at least a presumption in 
its favor, since it has been able to fix the attention 
of men of mark, having no interest in propagating 
an error, nor time to waste upon worthless trifles. 

Among the objections brought forward by West- 
ern opponents are some which are more specious, at 
least in appearance, because they are made by 
thoughtful minds. 

One of these objections is prompted by the fact 
that the language of spirits does not always seem 



SOUL EEINCAKNATION. 67 

worthy of the elevation Adepts attribute to beings 
beyond the pale of humanity. But, if the objector 
will take the trouble to look at the doctrinal sum- 
mary we have given above, he will see that the spir- 
its themselves inform us that they are not equals, 
either in knowledge or in moral qualities; that we 
are not to accept everything said by spirits as literal 
truth, and that we must judge for ourselves of the 
value of their statements. Assuredly, those who 
infer from this fact that we have to deal only with 
maleficent beings, whose sole occupation is to de- 
ceive us, have no acquaintance with the communica- 
tions obtained in certain parts of India habitually 
frequented by spirits of superior advancement, or 
they could not entertain such an opinion. It is re- 
grettable that they should have chanced to see only 
the worst side of the spirit-world, for I will not 
suppose that their sympathies attract evil, gross, or 
lying spirits, rather than good ones. I will merely 
suggest that, in some cases, the inquirers may not 
be so thoroughly principled in goodness as to repel 
evil, and that, taking advantage of their curiosity in 
regard to them, imperfect spirits make use of the 
opening thus afforded to come about them, while 
those of a higher order withdraw from them. 

To judge the question of spirits by these facts 
would be as little reasonable as to judge of the 
character of a people by the sayings and doings of a 



68 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

party of wild or disreputable fellows, with whom 
the educated and respectable classes of the popula- 
tion have nothing to do. Such persons are in the 
position of the traveler who, entering some great 
capital by one of its worst suburbs, should judge of 
all its inhabitants by the habits and language of this 
low quarter. In the world of spirits, as in our own, 
there are higher and lower castes of society. Let 
inquirers make a study of what goes on among spir- 
its of high degree, and they will be convinced that 
the Astral World is not peopled solely by ignorant 
and vicious spirits. "But," it will be asked, "do spirits 
of high degree come among us?" To> which ques- 
tion we reply, "Do not remain in the suburbs; see, 
observe, and judge; the facts are within reach of all 
but those alluded to by Jesus, as having eyes, but 
seeing not, and ears, but hearing not." 

A variety of the same objection consists in at- 
tributing all spirit communications, and all the phys- 
ical manifestations by which they are accompanied, 
to the intervention of some diabolical power — some 
new Proteus that assumes every form in order the 
more effectually to deceive us. Without pausing to 
analyze a supposition that we regard as not sus- 
ceptible of serious examination, and that is, more- 
over, refuted by what has already been said, I have 
only to remark that, if such were the case, it would 
have to be admitted either that the devil is some- 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 69 

times very wise, very reasonable, and, above all, 
moral, or else that there are good devils as well as 
bad ones. 

SPIRIT MANIFESTATIONS 

But, in fact, is it possible to believe that God 
would permit only the Spirit of Evil to manifest 
himself, and this in order to ruin us, without giving 
us also the counsels of good spirits as a counter- 
poise? To suppose that He cannot do this is to 
limit. His power; to suppose that He can do it, but 
abstains from doing it, is incompatible with the be- 
lief in His goodness. Both suppositions are equally 
blasphemous. It must be observed that, to admit 
the communication of evil spirits is to recognize the 
existence of spirit manifestations ; but, if they exist, 
it can only be with the permission of God, and how 
then can we, without impiety, believe that He would 
permit them to occur only for a bad purpose, to the 
exclusion of a good one? Such a supposition is 
contrary alike to the simplest dictates of occult 
teachings and of common sense. 

One strange feature of the matter, urge other 
objectors, is the fact that only the spirits of well- 
known personages manifest themselves, and it is 
asked why these should be the only ones who do so ? 
This query is suggested by an error due, like many 
others, to superficial observation. Among the spir- 



70 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

its who present themselves spontaneously, the 
greater number are unknown to us, and, therefore, 
call themselves by names that we know, and that 
serve to characterize them. With regard to those 
whom we evoke, unless in the case of relatives or 
friends, we naturally address ourselves to spirits 
whom we know of, rather than to those who are un- 
known to us; and as the names of illustrious per- 
sons are those which strike us most forcibly, they 
are, for that reason, those which are most re- 
marked. 

It is also considered as strange that the spirits of 
eminent men should respond familiarly to our call, 
and should sometimes interest themselves in things 
that appear trifling in comparison with those which 
they accomplished during their life. But there is in 
this nothing surprising for those who know that 
the power and consideration which a man may have 
possessed in this lower life give him no supremacy 
in the spirit-world. Spirits confirm the gospel state- 
ment that "the last shall be first, and the first shall 
be last/' as regards the rank of each of us when we 
return among them. Thus he who has been first in 
the earthly life may be one of the last in the spirit- 
world; he before whom all bowed their heads dur- 
ing the present life may then find himself beneath 
the humblest artisan, for, on quitting the earthly 
life, he leaves all his grandeur behind him; and the 



SOUL KEINCARNATION. 71 

most powerful monarch may be lower than the low- 
est of his subjects. 

A fact ascertained by observation, and confirmed 
by the spirits themselves, is the borrowing of well- 
known and venerated names by spirits of inferior 
degree. This causes doubt to exist among many 
fervent adherents of spiritist doctrine, who admit 
the reality of the intervention and manifestation of 
spirits, and they ask themselves what certainty we 
can have of their identity? This certainty it is, in 
fact, very difficult to obtain; but though it cannot 
be settled as authentically as by the attestation of a 
civil register, it may, at least, be established pre- 
sumptively, according to certain indications. 

When the spirit who manifests himself is that of 
some one personally known to us, of a relative or 
friend, for instance, and especially if of one who 
has been dead but a short time, it is generally found 
that his language is perfectly in keeping with what 
we know of his character; thus furnishing a strong 
presumption of his identity, which is placed almost 
beyond reach of doubt when the spirit speaks of 
private affairs, and refers to family matters known 
only to the party to whom he addresses himself. A 
son could hardly be mistaken as to the language of 
his father and mother, nor parents as to that of their 
child. Most striking incidents often occur in evoca- 
tions of this intimate kind — things of a nature to 



72 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

convince the most incredulous. The most skeptical 
are often astounded by the unexpected revelations 
thus made to them. 

Another very characteristic circumstance often 
helps to establish a spirit's identity. I have already 
said that the handwriting of the medium generally 
changes with the spirit evoked, the same writing 
being reproduced exactly every time the same spirit 
presents himself; and it often happens that, in the 
case of persons recently deceased, this writing bears 
a striking resemblance to that of the person during 
life, the signatures, especially, being sometimes per- 
fectly exact. We are, nevertheless, very far from 
adducing this fact as a rule, or as being of constant 
recurrence ; we merely mention it as a point worthy 
of notice. 

It is only when spirits have arrived at a certain 
degree of purification that they are entirely freed 
from all corporeal influences; and as long as they 
are not completely dematerialized (to employ their 
own expression) they retain most of the ideas, ten- 
dencies, and even the hobbies, they had while on 
earth, all of which furnish additional means of 
identification; but these are especially to be found 
in the vast number of small details that are only 
perceived through sustained and attentive observa- 
tion. Spirits who have been authors are seen to 
discuss their own works or views, approving or 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 73 

blaming them; others allude to various circum- 
stances connected with their life or death ; and from 
all these indications we obtain what may, at least, 
be regarded as moral presumptions in favor of their 
identity, the only ones that can be looked for under 
the circumstances of the case. 

THE IDENTITY OF THE SPIRIT EVOKED 

If, then, the identity of the spirit evoked may be 
established, to a certain extent and in certain cases, 
there is no reason why that identity may not exist 
in others; and although we may not have the same 
means of identification in regard to persons whose 
death is of more distant date, you always have that 
of language and character, for the spirit of a good 
and enlightened man will assuredly not express him- 
self like that of a depraved or ignorant one. As 
for inferior spirits who assume honored names, they 
soon betray themselves by the character of their 
language and statements. If some one, for instance, 
calling himself so and so gave utterance to remarks 
at variance with common sense or morality, his 
imposture would at once become evident ; but if the 
thoughts expressed by him were always noble, con- 
sistent, and of an elevation worthy of the soul he 
claims to be, there would be no reason to doubt his 
identity, for otherwise we should have to admit that 
a spirit whose communications inculcate only good- 



74 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

ness would knowingly be guilty of falsehood. Ex- 
perience shows us that spirits of the same degree, 
of the same character, and animated by the same 
sentiments, are united in groups and families; but 
the number of spirits is incalculable, and we are so 
far from knowing them all, that the names of the 
immense majority of them are necessarily unknown 
to us. A spirit of the same category as Buzuj (a 
Hindu now in spirit land) may, therefore, come to 
us in his name, and may even be sent by him as his 
representative; in which case he would naturally 
announce himself as Buzuj, because he is his equiva- 
lent, and able to supply his place, and because we 
need a name in order to fix our ideas in regard to 
him. And, after all, what does it matter whether 
a spirit be really Buzuj or not, if all that he says is 
excellent, and such as Buzuj himself would be likely 
to say? For, in that case, he must be a spirit of 
superior advancement; and the name under which 
he presents himself is of no importance, being often 
only a means of fixing our ideas. This sort of 
substitution would not be acceptable in evocations 
of a more intimate character; but, in these, as just 
pointed out, I have other means of ascertaining the 
identity of the communicating spirit. 

It is certain, however, that the assumption of false 
names by spirits may give rise to numerous mis- 
takes, may be a source of error and deception, and 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 75 

is, in fact, one of the most serious difficulties of 
practical spiritism; but I have never said that this 
field of investigation, any more than any other, is 
exempt from obstacles, nor that it can be fruitfully 
explored without serious and persevering effort. I 
cannot too often reiterate the warning that spiritism 
is a new field of study for the Western man, and 
one that demands long and assiduous exploration. 
Being unable to produce at pleasure the facts on 
which spiritism is based, you are obliged to wait for 
them to present themselves; and it often happens 
that, instead of occurring when you are looking for 
them, they occur when least expected. For the at- 
tentive and patient observer, materials for study are 
abundant, because he discovers in the facts thus pre- 
sented thousands of characteristic peculiarities 
which are for him so many sources of light. It is 
the same in regard to every other branch of science ; 
while the superficial observer sees in a flower only 
an elegant form, the botanist discovers in it a mine 
of interest for his thought. 

The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few 
words in relation to another difficulty — -viz., the di- 
vergence which exists in the statements made by 
spirits. 

Spirits differing very widely from one another as 
regards their knowledge and morality, it is evident 
that the same question may receive from them very 



76 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

different answers, according to the rank at which 
they have arrived ; exactly as would be the case if it 
were propounded alternately to a man of science, an 
ignoramus, and a mischievous wag. The impor- 
tant point, as previously remarked, is to know who 
is the spirit to whom you are addressing your ques- 
tions. 

But, it will be argued, how is it that spirits who 
are admittedly of superior degree are not all of the 
same opinion? I reply, in the first place, that there 
are, independently of the cause of diversity just 
pointed out, other causes that may exercise an in- 
fluence on the nature of the replies, irrespectively 
of the quality of the spirits themselves. This is a 
point of the highest importance, and one that will 
be explained by your ulterior study of the subject, 
provided that this study be prosecuted with the aid 
of the sustained attention, the prolonged observa- 
tion, the method and perseverance that are required 
in the pursuit of every other branch of human in- 
quiry. Years of study are needed to make even a 
second-rate physician; three-quarters of a lifetime 
to make a man of learning: and people fancy that 
a few hours will suffice to acquire the science of 
Occultism! Let there be no mistake in regard to 
this matter. The subject of spiritism is immense. 
It involves all other subjects, physical, metaphysical, 
and social ; it is a new world that opens before you. 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION 77 

Is it strange that time, and a good deal of time, 
should be required for becoming acquainted with it ? 
The contradictions alluded to, moreover, are not 
always as absolute as they may seem to be at first 
sight. Do we not see every day that men who are 
pursuing the same science give various definitions of 
the same thing; sometimes because they make use 
of different terms, sometimes because they consider 
it from different points of view, although the fun- 
damental idea is the same in each case? Let any 
one count up, if he can, the different definitions that 
have been given of grammar ! It must also be re- 
membered that the form of the answer often de- 
pends on the form under which the question has 
been put ; and that it would be childish to regard as 
a contradiction what is often only a difference of 
words. The higher spirits pay no heed to forms of 
expression; for them, the thought itself is every- 
thing. 

DEFINITION OF SOUL 

Let us take, for example, the definition of soul. 
That word, having no fixed meaning, spirits like 
ourselves may differ in the meaning they give to it. 
One of them may say that it is "the principle of 
life;" another may call it "the animic spark;" a 
third may say that it is internal ; a fourth, that it is 
external, etc. ; and each may be right from his own 



78 DEATH AND HINDU SPIBITISM. 

special paint of view. Some of them might even be 
supposed to hold materialistic views ; and yet such is 
not the case. It is the same with regard to the 
word God. According to some, God is "the prin- 
ciple of all things;" according to others, "the crea- 
tor of the universe," "the sovereign intelligence," 
"the Infinite," "the great Spirit," etc.; and never- 
theless it is always "God." And so in regard to the 
classification of spirits. They form an uninter- 
rupted succession from the lowest to the highest; 
all attempts at classification are, therefore, arbi- 
trary, and they may be regarded as forming three, 
five, ten, or twenty classes, without involving error 
or contradiction. All human sciences offer the same 
variations of detail ; every investigator has his own 
system; and systems change, but science remains the 
same. Whether we study botany according to one 
system or another, what we learn is none the less 
botany. Let us then cease to attribute more im- 
portance than they deserve to matters that are 
merely conventional, and let us devote ourselves 
only to what is really important ; and we shall often 
discover, on reflection, a similitude of meaning in 
statements that appeared to us, at first sight, to be 
contradictory, especially in occult things, 

I should pass over the objection of certain West- 
ern skeptics in relation to the faulty spelling of some 
spirits, were it not that this objection affords me 



SOUL REINCAKNATION. 70 

an opportunity of calling attention to a point of 
great importance. Spirit-orthography, it must be 
confessed, is not always irreproachable ; but he must 
be very short of arguments who would make this 
fact the object of serious criticism, on the plea that, 
"since spirits know everything, they ought to be 
well up in spelling." I might retort by pointing to 
the numerous sins against orthography committed 
by more than one of the lights of science in your 
own world, and which in no wise invalidate their 
scientific authority; but a much more important 
point is involved in the fact alluded to. For spirits, 
and especially for those of high degree, the idea is 
everything, the form is nothing. Freed from mat- 
ter, their language among themselves is as rapid as 
thought, for it is their thought itself that is com- 
municated without intermediary; and it must, there- 
fore, be very inconvenient for them to be obliged, in 
communicating with us, to make use of human 
speech, with its long and awkward forms, its insuf- 
ficiencies and imperfections, as the vehicle of their 
ideas. They often allude to this inconvenience ; and 
it is curious to see the means they employ to obviate 
the difficulty. It would be the same with you if 
you had to express yourselves in a language of 
which the words and locutions were longer, and the 
stock of expressions more scanty, than those you 
habitually employ. The same difficulty is felt by 



80 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

the man of genius, impatient of the slowness of his 
pen, which always lags behind his thought. It is, 
therefore, easy to understand that spirits attach but 
little importance to questions of spelling, especially 
in the transmission of serious and weighty teach- 
ings. Should you not rather wonder that they are 
able to express themselves equally in all tongues 
and that they understand them all? It must not, 
however, be inferred from these remarks that they 
are unable to express themselves with conventional 
correctness; they do this when they judge it to be 
necessary ; as, for instance, when they dictate verses, 
some of which, written, moreover, by illiterate me- 
diums, are of a correctness and elegance that defy 
the severest criticism. 



82 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 



"SPIRITUAL FOUNTAINS 

Oh, Eternal Spiritual Truth: permit this Volume 

In justice and honor thy great cause to plead; 

For in thee dwells the sum of human hope; 

And faithful seeking in the mists of Ages, 

Thine Ancient strides, worthily engages 

The Faithful Disciple, who follows but thy lead, 

Desiring of the future Clairvoyantly to read, 

And understand what e'er the time presages 

The voice of the Adepts, in no tones uncertain, 

Says Life shall triumph over Death, 

While every century still higher lifts the curtain, 

And light is dawning, as their forces fulfill; 

The Spiritual fountain from India Flowing, 

On every nationits rich Occult gifts bestowing. 

Dr. de Laurence. 



CHAPTER IV. 

INSANITY 

There are persons who see danger in everything 
that is new to them, and who have, therefore, not 
failed to draw an unfavorable conclusion from the 
fact that some of those who have taken up the sub- 
ject of spiritism have lost their reason. But how 
can sensible people urge that fact as an objection? 
Does not the same thing often happen to weak heads 
when they give themselves up to any intellectual 
pursuit? Who shall say how many have gone mad 
over mathematics, medicine, music, philosophy, 
etc.? But what does that prove? And are those 
studies to be proscribed on that account ? Arms and 
legs, the instruments of physical activity, are often 
injured by physical labor; the brain, instrument of 
thought, is often impaired by intellectual labor, to 
which, in fact, many a man may be said to fall a 
martyr. But, though the instrument may be in- 
jured, the mind remains intact, and, when freed 
from matter, finds itself again in full possession of 
its faculties. 

Intense mental application of any kind may in- 



84 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

duce cerebral disease; science, art, religion even, 
have all furnished their quota of madmen. The pre- 
disposing cause of madness is to be found in some 
tendency of the brain that renders it more or less 
accessible to certain impressions; and, where the 
predisposition to insanity exists, its manifestation 
takes on the character of the pursuit to which the 
mind is most addicted, and which then assumes the 
form of a fixed idea. This fixed idea may be that 
of spirits, in the case of those who have been deeply 
absorbed by spiritist matters; as it may be that of 
God, of angels, the devil, fortune, power, an art, a 
science, a political or social system. It is probable 
that the victim of religious mania would have gone 
mad on spiritism, if spiritism had been his predomi- 
nant mental occupation; just as he who goes mad 
over spiritism would, under other circumstances, 
have gone mad over something else. 

I assert, therefore, that spiritism does not predis- 
pose to insanity ; nay, more, I assert that, when cor- 
rectly understood, it is a preservative against in- 
sanity. 

Among the most common causes of cerebral dis- 
turbance must be reckoned the disappointments, mis- 
fortunes, blighted affections, and other troubles of 
human life, which are also the most frequent causes 
of suicide. But the enlightened Occultist and Adept 
looks upon the things of this life from so elevated a 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 85 

point of view, they seem to him so petty, so worth- 
less, in comparison with the future he sees before 
him — life appears so short, so fleeting — that its 
tribulations are, in his eyes, merely the disagreeable 
incidents of a journey. What would produce vio- 
lent emotion in the mind of another affects him but 
slightly; besides, he knows that the sorrows of life 
are trials which aid our advancement, if borne with- 
out murmuring, and that he will be rewarded ac- 
cording to the fortitude with which he has borne 
them. His convictions, therefore, give him a resig- 
nation that preserves him from despair, and conse- 
quently from a frequent cause of madness and sui- 
cide. He knows, moreover, through spirit com- 
munications, the fate of those who voluntarily 
shorten their days; and as such knowledge is well 
calculated to suggest serious reflection, the num- 
ber of those who have thus been arrested on the 
downward path is incalculable. Such is one of the 
results of Occultism. The incredulous may smile 
at it as much as they please; I only wish them the 
consolations it affords to those Adepts who have 
sounded its mysterious depths. 

DREAD OF THE DEVIL 

Fear must also be reckoned among the causes of 
madness. Dread of the devil has deranged many a 
brain; and who shall say how many victims have 



86 DEATH AND HNDU SPIEITISM. 

been made by impressing weak imaginations with 
pictures of which the horrors are enhanced by the 
hideous details so ingeniously worked into them? 
The devil, it is sometimes said, frightens only little 
children, whom it helps to make docile and well- 
behaved. Yes; but only as do nursery-terrors and 
bugaboos in general ; and when these have lost their 
power, they who have been subjected to this sort of 
training are apt to be worse than before; while, on 
the other hand, those who have recourse to it over- 
look the risk of epilepsy involved in such disturbing 
action upon the delicate child-brain. Religion would 
be weak, indeed, if its power could only be sustained 
by fear. Happily such is not the case, and it has 
other means of acting on the mind. Spiritism fur- 
nishes the religious element with a more efficient 
support than superstitious terror. It discloses the 
reality of things, and thus substitutes a salutary ap- 
preciation of the consequences of wrongdoing for 
the vague apprehensions of unreasonable fear. 

Two objections to the teachings of Eastern Oc- 
cultism still remain to be examined, the only ones 
really deserving of the name, because they are the 
only ones founded on a rational basis. Both admit 
the reality of the material and moral phenomena of 
spiritism, but deny the intervention of spirits in 
their production. 

According to the first of these objections, all the 



SOUL KEINCAENATION. 87 

manifestations attributed to spirits are merely effects 
of magnetism, and mediums are in a state that 
might be called waking somnambulism, a phenome- 
non which may have been observed by any one who 
has studied astral magnetism. In this state the in- 
tellectual faculties acquire an abnormal develop- 
ment; the circle of our intuitive perceptions is ex- 
tended beyond its ordinary limits; the medium finds 
in himself and with the aid of his lucidity, all that 
he says, and all the notions transmitted by him, even 
in regard to subjects with which he is least familiar 
in his usual state. 

It is not by us, who have witnessed its prodigies 
and studied all its phases during centuries, that the 
action of somnambulism could be contested, and we 
admit that many spirit-manifestations may be thus 
explained; but we assert that sustained and atten- 
tive observation shows us a host of facts in which 
any intervention of the medium, otherwise than as 
a passive instrument, is absolutely impossible. To 
those who attribute the phenomena in question to 
magnetism, we would say, as to all others, "See, 
and observe, for you have certainly not seen every- 
thing;" and we would also ask them to consider 
the two following points, suggested by their own 
view of the subject. In the first place, we would 
ask them, What is the origin of the hypothesis of 
spirit-action? Is it an explanation invented by a 



88 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

few individuals to account for those phenomena? 
Not at all. By whom, then, has it been broached? 
By the very clairvoyants and mediums whose lucid- 
ity you extol. But if their lucidity be such as you 
declare it to be, why should they attribute to spirits 
what they have derived from themselves ? How can 
they have given information so precise, logical, sub- 
lime in regard to the nature of those extra-human 
intelligences? Either mediums are lucid, or they 
are not; if they are, and if we trust to their ve- 
racity, we cannot, without inconsistency, suppose 
them to be in error on this point. In the second 
place, if all the phenomena had their source in the 
medium himself, they would always be identical in 
the case of each individual; and we should never 
find the same medium making use of different styles 
of expression, or giving utterance to contradictory 
statements. 

The want of unity so often observed in the mani- 
festations obtained by the same medium is a proof 
of the diversity of the spiritual sources from which 
they proceed; and as the cause of this diversity is 
not to be found in the medium himself, it must be 
sought for elsewhere. 

According to the other objection, the medium is 
really the source of the manifestations, but, instead 
of deriving them from himself, as is asserted by the 
partisans of the somnambulic theory, he derives 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 89 

them from the persons among whom he finds him- 
self. The medium is a sort of mirror, reflecting all 
the thoughts, ideas, and knowledge of those about 
him; from which it follows that he says nothing 
which is not known to, at least, some of them. It 
cannot be denied, for it is one of the fundamental 
principles of spiritist doctrine, that those who are 
present exercise an influence upon the manifesta- 
tions ; but this influence is very different from what 
it is assumed to be by the hypothesis I am consid- 
ering, and, so far from the medium being the mere 
echo of the thoughts of those around him, there are 
thousands of facts that prove directly the contrary. 
This objection is, therefore, based on a serious mis- 
take, and one that shows the danger of hasty judg- 
ments; those who bring it forward, being unable to 
deny the reality of occult phenomena which the 
science of the day is incompetent to explain, and 
being unwilling to admit the presence of spirits, ex- 
plain them in their own way. Their theory would 
be specious if it explained all the facts of the case; 
but this it cannot do. In vain is it proved by the 
evidence of facts that the communications of the 
medium are often entirely foreign to the thoughts, 
knowledge, and even the opinions of those who are 
present, and that they are frequently spontaneous, 
and contradict all received ideas; the opponents re- 
ferred to are not discouraged by so slight a diffi- 



90 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

culty. The radiation of thought, say they, extends 
far beyond the circle immediately around us; the 
medium is the reflection of the human race in gen- 
eral; so that, if he does not derive his inspirations 
from those about him, he derives them from those 
who are further off, in the town or country he in- 
habits, from the people of the rest of the globe, and 
even from those of other spheres. 

I do not think that this theory furnishes a more 
simple and probable explanation than that given by 
spirit control; for it assumes the action of a cause 
very much more marvelous. The idea that univer- 
sal space is peopled by beings who are in perpetual 
contact with us, and who communicate to us their 
ideas, is certainly not more repugnant to reason 
than the hypothesis of a universal radiation, coming 
from every point of the universe, and converging in 
the brain of a single individual, to the exclusion of 
all the others. 

I repeat (and this is a point of such importance 
that I cannot insist too strongly upon it), that the 
somnambulic theory, and that which may be called 
the theory of reflection, have been devised by the 
imagination of men; while, on the contrary, the 
theory of spirit-agency is not a conception of the 
human mind, for it was dictated by the manifesting 
intelligences themselves, at a time when no one 
thought of spirits, and when the opinion of the gen- 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 91 

erality of men was opposed to such a supposition. 
We have, therefore, to inquire, first, from what 
quarter the mediums can have derived a hypothesis 
which had no existence in the thought of any one 
on earth? and, secondly, by what strange coinci- 
dence it can have happened that tens of thousands 
of mediums, scattered over the entire globe, and 
utterly unknown to one another, all agree in assert- 
ing the same thing? If the first medium who ap- 
peared in India was influenced by opinions already 
received in another country, by what strange guid- 
ance was he made to go in search of ideas across 
two thousand leagues of sea, and among a people 
whose habits and language were foreign to his own, 
instead of taking them in his own immediate vi- 
cinity? 

MANIFESTATIONS IN INDIA 

But there is yet another circumstance to which 
sufficient attention has not been given. The earliest 
manifestations, in India, as in other countries, were 
not made either by writing or by speech, but by 
actual communications, forming words and sen- 
tences. It is by this means that the manifesting in- 
telligences declared themselves to be astral spirits; 
and, therefore, even though we should admit an 
intervention of the medium's mind in the produc- 
tion of verbal or written communications, we could 



92 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

not do so in regard to manifestations, whose mean- 
ing could not have been known beforehand. 

The Hindus might adduce any number of facts 
proving the existence of a personal individuality and 
an absolutely independent will on the part of the 
manifesting intelligence; and we, therefore, invite 
our opponents to a more attentive observation of 
the phenomena in question, assuring them that, if 
they study these without prejudice, and refrain 
from drawing a conclusion until they have made 
themselves thoroughly acquainted with the subject, 
they will find that their theories are unable to ac- 
count for all of them. We will only propose to such 
antagonists the two following queries: 

I. Why does it so often happen that the manifest- 
ing intelligence refuses to answer certain questions 
in regard to matters that are perfectly known to the 
questioner, as, for instance, his name or age, what 
he has in his hand, what he did yesterday, what he 
intends to do on the morrow, etc. ? If the medium 
be only a mirror reflecting the thought of those 
about him, nothing should be easier for him than to 
answer such questions. 

If our adversaries retort by inquiring why it is 
that spirits, who ought to know everything, are una- 
ble to answer questions so simple, and conclude, 
from this presumed inability, that the phenomena 
cannot be caused by spirits, we would ask them 



SOUL REINCABNATION*. 93 

whether, if an ignorant or foolish person should in- 
quire of some learned body the reason of its being 
light at noonday, any answer would be returned to 
his question? and whether it would be reasonable 
to conclude, from the derision or the silence with 
which such a question might be received, that its 
members were merely a set of asses ? It is precisely 
because they are at a higher point than ourselves 
that spirits decline to answer idle and foolish ques- 
tions; keeping silence when such are asked, or ad- 
vising us to employ ourselves with more serious sub- 
jects. 

2. We have also to ask them why it is that spir- 
its come and depart at their own pleasure, and why, 
when once they have taken their departure, neither 
prayers nor entreaties can bring them back? If the 
medium were acted upon solely by the mental im- 
pulsion of those around him, it is evident that the 
union of their wills, in such a case, ought to stimu- 
late his clairvoyance. If, therefore, he do not yield 
to the wishes of those assembled, strengthened by 
his own desire, it is because he obeys an influence 
which is distinct from himself and from those about 
him, and which thus asserts its own independence 
and individuality. 

Incredulity in regard to a future life and spirit- 
communication, when not the result of systematic 
opposition from selfish motives, has almost always 



94 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

its source in an imperfect acquaintance with the 
facts of the case; which, however, does not prevent 
a good many persons from attempting to settle the 
question as though they were perfectly familiar 
with it. It is possible to be .very clever, very 
learned, and yet to lack clearness of judgment; and 
a belief in one's own infallibility is the surest sign 
of the existence of this defect. Many persons, too, 
regard spirit manifestations as being only a mat- 
ter of curiosity. Let us hope that the reading of 
these writings will show them that the wonderful 
phenomena in question are something else than a 
pastime. 

Spiritism consists of two parts : one of these, the 
experimental, deals with the subject of the mani- 
festations in general; the other, the philosophic, 
deals with the class of manifestations denoting in- 
telligence. Whoever has only observed the former 
is in the position of one whose knowledge of phys- 
ics, limited to experiments of an amusing nature, 
does not extend to the fundamental principles of 
that science. Eastern Occultism consists of teach- 
ings imparted by Astral Spirits and the knowledge 
thus conveyed is of a character far too serious to 
be mastered without serious and persevering atten- 
tion. If the present teachings had no other result 
than to show the serious nature of the subject, and 
to induce inquirers to approach it in this spirit, it 
would be sufficiently important; and we should re- 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 95 

joice to have been chosen for the accomplishment 
of a work in regard to which we take no credit to 
ourselves, the principles it contains not being of the 
Hindu Adept's own creating, and whatever honor it 
may obtain being entirely due to the Astral Spirits 
by whom it has been dictated. We hope that it will 
achieve yet another result — viz., that of serving as 
a guide to those who are desirous of enlightenment 
in Hindu Occultism, by showing them the grand and 
sublime end of individual and social progress to 
which the teachings of Hindu Spiritism directly 
tend, and by pointing out to them the road by which 
alone that end can be reached. 

Let us wind up these introductory remarks with 
one concluding observation. Astronomers, in 
sounding the depths of the sky, discovered seem- 
ingly vacant spaces not in accordance with the gen- 
eral laws that govern the distribution of the heav- 
enly bodies, and they therefore conjectured that 
those spaces were occupied by globes that had 
escaped their observation. On the other hand, they 
observed certain effects the cause of which was 
unknown to them; and they said to themselves, "In 
such a region of space there must be a world, for 
otherwise there would be a void that ought not to 
exist; and the effects we have observed imply the 
presence in that seeming void of such a world as 
their cause/ ' Reasoning, then, from those effects 



96 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

to their cause, they calculated the elements of the 
globe whose presence they had inferred, and facts 
subsequently justified their inference. Let us apply 
the same mode of reasoning to another order of 
ideas. If we observe the series of beings, we find 
that they form a continuous chain from brute matter 
to man. But between man and God, who is the 
Alpha and Omega of all things, what an immense 
hiatus! Is it reasonable to suppose that the links 
of the chain stop short with man, that he can vault, 
without transition, over the distance which separates 
him from the Infinite? Reason shows us that be- 
tween man and God there must be other links, just 
as it showed the astronomers that between the 
worlds then known to them there must be other 
worlds as yet unknown to them. What system 
of philosophy has filled this hiatus ? Spiritism shows 
that it is filled with the beings of all the ranks of the 
invisible world, and that these beings are no other 
than the spirits of men who have reached the suc- 
cessive degrees that lead up to perfection; and all 
things are thus seen to be linked together from one 
end of the chain to the other. Let those who deny 
the existence of spirits tell us what are the occu- 
pants of the immensity of space which spirits de- 
clare to be occupied by them; and let those who 
scoff at the idea of spirit-teachings give us a nobler 
idea than is given by those teachings of the handi- 



SOUL BEINCAKNATION. 97 

work of God, a more convincing demonstration of 
His goodness and His power. 

OCCULT PHENOMENA 

Phenomena which are inexplicable by any 
known physical laws are occurring all over the 
world, and revealing the action of a free and intel- 
ligent will as their cause. 

Reason tells us that an intelligent effect must have 
an intelligent force for its cause; and facts have 
proved that this force is able to enter into com- 
munication with men by the employment of material 
signs. 

This force, interrogated as to its nature, has de- 
clared itself to belong to the world of spiritual 
beings who have thrown off the corporeal envelope 
of men. It is thus that the existence of spirits has 
been revealed to the Hindu Adepts. 

Communication between the spirit world and the 
corporeal world is in the nature of things, and has 
in it nothing supernatural. Traces of its existence 
are to be found among all nations and in every age; 
they are now becoming general and evident to all. 
Spirits assure us that the time appointed by Provi- 
dence for a universal manifestation of their exist- 
ence has now come; and that their mission, as the 
ministers of God and the instruments of His will, 
is to inaugurate, through the instructions they are 

7 



98 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

charged to convey to us, a new era of regeneration 
for the human race. 

This "Book of Death" is a compilation of their 
teachings. It has been written by the order and 
under the dictation of disembodied spirits of high 
degree, for the purpose of establishing the bases of 
a rational philosophy, free from the influence of 
prejudices and of preconceived opinions. It con- 
tains nothing that is not the expression of their 
thought; nothing that has not been submitted to 
their approbation. The method adopted in the ar- 
rangement of its contents, the comments upon these, 
and the form given to certain portions of the work, 
are all that has been contributed by Dr. L. W. de 
Laurence, to whom the duty of giving it to the 
world has been entrusted. 

Many of the spirits who have taken part in the 
accomplishment of this task declare themselves 
to have been persons whom we know to have lived 
at different epochs upon the earth, preaching and 
practising virtue and wisdom. Of the names of 
others, history has preserved no trace ; but their ele- 
vation is attested by the purity of their doctrine and 
their union with those who bear venerated names. 

We transcribe the words in which, by writing, 
through the intermediary of various Hindu 
mediums, the mission of preparing this book was 
confided to the writer: — 



SOUL EEHSTCAKNATION. 99 



ADVICE FROM ASTRAL SPIRITS TO 
DR. de LAURENCE 

"Be zealous and persevering in the work you 
have undertaken in conjunction with us, for this 
work is ours. In the teachings you are to give the 
world, we shall lay the foundations of the new 
edifice which is destined to unite all men in a com- 
mon sentiment of love and charity; but, before 
making it public, we shall go through it with you, 
so as to ensure its accuracy. 

"We shall be with you whenever you ask for our 
presence, and shall aid you in all your labors; for 
the preparation of this work is only a part of the 
mission which has been confided to you, and of 
which you have already been informed by one 
of us. 

"Of the magical teachings given to you, some are 
to be kept to yourself for the present ; we shall tell 
you when the time for publishing them has come. 
Meanwhile make them the subject of your medita- 
tions, that you may be ready to treat of them at the 
proper moment. 

"Put at the beginning of The Book of Death the 
Hindu Symbol we have drawn for that purpose, be- 
cause it is the emblem of the worth of the Hindu. 
In it are united all the material elements that most 



100 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

fitly symbolize body and spirit ; the figure represents 
the Astral World of Spirits; the letters spelling the 
word DEATH; the flame, the union of body and 
spirit. Man's labor calls forth the latent qualities of 
the spirit; the labor of the body develops, through 
the knowledge thus acquired, the latent powers of 
the soul. 

"Do not allow yourself to be discouraged by hos- 
tile criticism. You will have rancorous contra- 
dictors, especially among those whose interest it is to 
keep up existing abuses. You will have such even 
among spirits; for those who are not completely 
dlematerialized often endeavor, out of malice or 
ignorance, to scatter abroad the seeds of doubt. Be- 
lieve in immortal life, and go boldly forward. We 
shall be with you to sustain you on your way; and 
the time is at hand when the truth of spiritism will 
shine forth on all sides. 

"The vanity of some men, who imagine that they 
know everything, and are bent on explaining every- 
thing in their own way, will give rise to opposing 
opinions; but all who have in view the grand prin- 
ciple of Magic will be united in the same love of 
goodness, and in a bond of brotherhood that will 
embrace the entire world. Putting aside all vain 
disputes about words, they will devote their ener- 
gies to matters of practical importance, in regard 
to which, whatever their doctrinal belief, the con- 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 101 

victions of all who receive the communications of 
the higher spirits will be the same. 

"Perseverance will render your labor fruitful. The 
pleasure you will feel in witnessing the spread of 
our doctrine and its right appreciation will be for 
you a rich reward, though perhaps rather in the 
future than in the present. Be not troubled by the 
thorns and stones that the incredulous and the evil- 
minded will place in your path ; hold fast your con- 
fidence, for your confidence will ensure our help, 
and, through it, you will reach the goal. 

"Remember that good spirits only give their aid 
to those who serve God with humility and disinter- 
estedness ; they disown all who use heavenly things 
as a stepping-stone to earthly advancement, and this 
the High Caste Adepts of India never do, and with- 
draw from the proud and the ambitious. Pride and 
ambition are a barrier between man and God; for 
they blind man to the splendors of spiritual exist- 
ence, and God cannot employ the blind to make 
known the light and truth of this Great Wisdom." 



CHAPTER V. 

DEATH 

The elements of the soul of man in their very 
nature are such that they are a substantial psychic 
organism which extends throughout the entire phys- 
ical body, permeating the whole nervous system. 

Again the soul of man is strictly a psychic and 
not a physical organism. Neither is it subject to the 
ordinary physical laws of dissolution and lies, as 
such, absolutely without the range of chemical 
analysis. 

The human soul always has and always shall be 
subject to the conditions and laws of evolution and 
when the soul ceases to inhabit the body, abandoning 
its earthly habitation, it changes a condition of its 
existence ; this condition being of no further use for 
its future progress or future evolution. 

The condition of the soul, its desires, powers, the 
intellectual faculties and their law of action remain 
the same after the so-called death. In other words, 
a man, woman or child remain the same whether 
they exist in the physical body or on the Astral 
Plane, 



104 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

Death or soul transition, so much talked of and 
so little understood by the ordinary individual and 
western scientists in general, is simply a decided 
change in the present condition of the soul's exist- 
ence, but does not in the least affect its essence or 
actual existence, neither does it interfere with, or 
in any way affect its organism, faculties, desires or 
possibilities, and the practical student of Eastern 
Occultism may accept it as a Sacred Truth, that the 
lives of men, women and children, whom many 
speak of as departed spirits, have an actual and real 
existence after the so-called death. 

ADVANCED STUDENTS OF OCCULTISM 

Those who deserve to be numbered among the 
advanced students of Occultism must first realize 
this great truth, for ye may fail to fulfill a law, but 
none of ye can break or destroy a law by skepticism. 

The soul is immortal and eternal, its law is eternal 
existence. Every soul continues to develop and in- 
crease in growth, power and understanding up to 
the minute of its departure from the body. Why 
does it depart? For this is what ye western people 
call death. My answer to you is simply because it 
can make no other progress in its present condition; 
that is while it remains in the body, but why should 
any sane person be so foolish as to assume that 
there is a cessation of existence ? Is it any sign that 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 105 

because a drop, body or stream of water is drawn up 
and attracted toward the sun that it ceases to exist 
entirely? Certainly not so, for it only changes its 
condition of existence. 

The only actual and essential difference between 
the existence of the soul while it inhabits the body 
and after it ceases to inhabit it and ascends to the 
Astral Plane is that it becomes, strictly speaking, 
"Clairvoyant," it being literally spiritual in its ex- 
istence and no longer encumbered with the physical 
organism, its sense of preception is spiritual instead 
of material and of course becomes Clairvoyant. 

ASTRAL GUIDES AND SPIRITS 

When the human soul passes fully into its great 
astral existence, the Clairvoyant and Spiritual graces 
of the soul will henceforth rule. The whole soul of 
man becomes transformed and for the first time his 
soul will be brought into complete unison with 
Astral Guides and Spirits, and his eternal life. Man 
is then, and only then, able to yield in full obedience 
to high spiritual laws and then to perceive clairvoy- 
antly. He then becomes master of himself through- 
out and the perfect obedience, duration and extent 
of his powers will be co-extensive with his desires. 
With this change will come that development called 
New, or Spiritual Birth. It is then the spiritual 
sense will become refined and powerful, so much 



106 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

so that all will see the innermost thoughts and de- 
sires of their friends and associates still in the body 
and they can enter into intimate spirit communica- 
tion with them. 

Man during his earthly existence with his physical 
senses to only partly inform him as to the true and 
actual facts of his existence may doubt some of 
these things. But did you ever stop to think that 
when you walk into a room that, although you do 
not see that in order to do this, you are compelled 
to force an amount' of air, equal to the size of your 
body, out of the enclosure. You may not realize 
that to swing your body or arm through the air you 
must push the air first before your body or arm. 
And let me say right here that you have many things 
to learn. Many and numerous are the revelations 
that you will receive and the time will slowly but 
surely come when you will realize how little you 
know or ever knew. For does a tree grow and ex- 
pand all at once? Can a grain of wheat feel, know 
and literally realize what it means to be developed 
and expanded into a growing sprout. 

If the Air, Auror and Ether were visible to the 
physical eye how many would grow more weary 
walking or running. Then again the Great Western 
Scientist and Philosopher (so-called) would never 
have dared to have thought of shaping his absurd, 
nonsensical and incomprehensible story and theory 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 107 

of vacant space as that which has so long disgraced 
their teachings. They have built their philosophy 
upon a vast and vague basis of nothingness, for they 
have sought to build before the student a great tem- 
ple of mysteries and theology. A nonsensical and 
impenetrable wall and barrier of infinitude to keep 
mankind from any true or definite knowledge of his 
Divine existence. 

Man's life during his present and future existence 
would be far better termed immortal than so one- 
sided. 

Certain theories have served very well as a scare- 
crow for many learned pseudo-philosophers and N 
scientists to frighten and intimidate their fellow 
beings and followers. Many a sprout has taught his 
followers that as the Almighty is Infinite, and that 
all Astral and Spiritual powers are such, and that 
therefore the mortal mind of man cannot compre- 
hend them, but that they should trustingly and most 
blindly accept such as sublime mysteries. Such 
teachings are directly opposed to the true law of the 
Soul. Many have said that in immortal life man 
shall have knowledge of himself. But it is the 
Divine Right and duty of every Soul to learn, for 
when a true and Sacred Knowledge of Spiritism 
fills the soul Blind faith and mystery cannot exist 
there. 



108 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

PSEUDO-PHILOSOPHERS 

One of the great and glaring errors of our pseudo- 
philosophers is in regard to the first beginning cause. 
But let me illustrate to you the following example 
cloaked with their ignorance. 

The natural change and alteration of common 
combustion in any flame will cause light. This light 
in its turn must cause an effect and impression on 
the eyeball and optic nerve. This in its turn makes 
an impression on the brain; and in the natural 
course of events becomes the origin and cause of 
a train or succession of ideas and thoughts or deep 
emotions, but do not forget that in this case as in 
every other of its kind the effect and motion is trans- 
ferred from one object to another and what termi- 
nates as an effect at one end or step is the origin 
or beginning of a cause and effect at the beginning 
of another change. 

So you must plainly see that cause and effect are 
only terms when rightfully used to designate the 
points or steps in the change of conditions in the life 
of men. This line, strange to state, is always a 
circle, because all forces and causes are convertible; 
therefore it becomes evident that there cannot be a 
beginning and first cause of anything any more than 
there is a beginning or end to man's life. 

The reader or student of these writings will be 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 109 

surprised indeed to learn that Adepts of India must 
be thoroughly familiar with every department of 
science and research, also have a detailed knowledge 
of all operations, also of the First Principles of 
Natural Magic, Astrology, Alchemy, Botany, 
Mineralogy, Chemistry, etc., etc. Indeed he must 
become intimately acquainted with every subject 
coming within the scope of earth and spiritual life. 
He must be educated by spiritual advisers and medi- 
tate for years in deep thought and logic, and live the 
life of one who has raised the spiritual veil so that 
nothing in the past, present or future is hidden or 
misunderstood. 

He sees how the Western man clings to the "illu- 
sion of time." Realizes that even their most pro- 
found and stable of sciences (Mathematics) is based 
and on "The Airy Fabric of Vision." For there 
is no such thing as "Time." It is as much of an 
illusion as is the conception of space. The Western 
man and scientist believes that time is a succession 
of events. 

What is a minute, an hour, a month, a century? 

The Western Scientist says that twenty-four 
hours constitute a day, the length of time our planet 
consumes in rotating once around its axis. 

Take the circumference of the earth, separate it 
into twenty-four equal parts, stand a man at each of 



110 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

these twenty-four given points ; what will be the re- 
sult? 

The Western scientist will answer you by reply- 
ing that there would be one hour's time between 
each of the twenty-four men. Now move your men 
twenty degrees further north or south; you would 
certainly have them nearer together; but still there 
would be an hour's difference in time between each, 
for you say the globe rotates once every twenty-four 
hours; again move your twenty-four men so near 
the pole that they can shake hands, or join hands, 
forming a complete circle by actual contact. Now, 
according to the Western idea of space and time, 
there would be an hour's difference of time in each. 
If it would be one o'clock by one man's watch it is 
two o'clock by the man's watch to the right and 
twelve o'clock by the man's watch to the left. These 
men connected in a circle by joining hands could, 
according to your theory of time and space, travel 
in ten minutes over a hundred years of time. 

They could turn the opposite way and walk into 
the vanished centuries of the past, or you could annul 
time completely by going to the next man at the 
minute an hour was about to expire, or by stand- 
ing on the North Pole itself always have it one 
o'clock. This in itself would be superfluous, as no 
time exists there. 

What the Western mathematician terms mathe- 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. Ill 

matics or the science of numbers and their quantity- 
is another illustration of "an illusion," the same 
as their idea of time, for what are your mathematics 
founded upon? Simply upon a presumptious, hypo- . 
thetical assumption. That is to say, that your num- 
bers in themselves, individually or collectively, 
amount to nothing, for as an example, the number 
one certainly has no existence. This, of course, will 
seem odd and in a great sense a revelation, but it 
is as old and eternal as the mountains themselves, 
for what is the Western mathematician's number 
one? An object or individual must certainly relate 
to some actual existing object or article, for all 
abstract conceptions are ideal and consequently un- 
real. Is it a city, a horse or a river? The certain 
city, horse or river will not appear the same to any 
two or more persons on this earth. The reason of 
this is that there are no two minds, as far as out- 
ward conception is concerned, that are exactly alike. 
Again the city which you observe this day is not the 
city which you beheld or observed yesterday or a 
week ago, as during this time your mind and soul 
have undergone many changes, however slight, and 
the universe to you is no longer the same. Your 
science of numbers is then founded upon a some- 
thing which has no tangible or even definable exist- 
ence, and when you stop to think and consider your 
science of mathematics you will realize that it is an 



112 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

incongruous conglomeration, overflowing with con- 
tradictions and absurdities. To illustrate : An indi- 
vidual can picture things, imagining a possibility of 
reaching it or approaching an object without the 
least opportunity or chance of really approaching or 
reaching it. Now this is exactly what your Western 
infallible scientists and mathematicians teach you. 
We will assume now, for instance, that you are in- 
debted to a second party for a certain amount of 
money, or say a twenty-dollar gold piece, and you 
enter into an agreement with said party to pay or 
discharge said obligation in the following manner: 
that is, one-half or part of said gold piece you will 
pay tomorrow, one-fourth of the same you will pay 
the following month and so on ; now you are always 
paying one-half of the amount you have disbursed 
on the previous month. Have you any idea what 
length of time you will have to continue discharging 
this obligation or making payments, or when your 
obligation or debt will be cancelled and paid? An 
individual might keep this up and go on discharging 
his debt month after month for many millions of 
years and he would never pay off that gold piece. 
This illustration or sample of your fallacy of num- 
bers is an exact truth, but many a Western mathe- 
matician prodigy will say it is self-evident, yet to 
him it involves a profound, far-reaching mystery. 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 113 

SACRED CASTE OF INDIA 

To further illustrate the fallacy of Western mathe- 
matics you are continuously adding one fraction to 
another and heaping up certain amounts of gold to 
an everlasting eternity without the slightest or re- 
motest possibility of reaching the amount of your 
gold piece, for stop again and think that every pay- 
ment lands you a trifle nearer the goal, but you 
never reach it. Does this not in itself demonstrate 
the fallacy of your entire science of numbers and 
prove that the same is "an illusion?" Man's exist- 
ence outside of the Sacred Caste of India is cer- 
tainly not one of peace of mind or joy, for during 
his earthly existence does he dwell in a state of hap- 
piness or sorrow and grief? Can you realize or 
recall a single day during your existence when you 
were thoroughly contented and free from desires or 
wish for amelioration ? Are you perfectly contented 
now? A man may roam and travel everywhere; 
this in itself will be an education unto him and 
bring him in contact with many different races and 
species of mankind, but he will never meet an indi- 
vidual, old or young, rich or poor, of high or low 
Caste, king or peasant, who is perfectly contented 
with his condition on earth, for he will be filled with 
a desire and longing for something more and better. 
The human soul never has and never will be free 



114 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

from amelioration, or ever become contented, be- 
cause the very nature of his soul and his existence 
on the earth plane attracts to him and involves grief 
and tears. The constitution of man, his faculties 
and desires of his soul are the same all around the 
globe. They differ slightly, of course, in a degree, 
but he must necessarily possess the same qualities 
of soul for his universal adaptation to the law of 
life. Man's earthly existence in itself is conducive 
to, and signifies pain, both bodily and mentally, for 
he is encumbered with a material body, with a thou- 
sand and one desires which he will never be able to 
gratify. Consequently his existence instead of being 
a condition that is of advantage to him in his present 
state is an existence of longing and suffering, al- 
though he may exist under the most favorable con- 
ditions, and what he may term contentment and 
peace this hour is only a temporary absence of pain 
and want, but in time pain, desire and a longing will 
fill up this space the same as darkness will fill a room 
that is light. The earthly existence of man is full of 
sorrow and pain. The sensitive human soul feels 
the pangs of agony and sorrow that are thrown out 
by the millions of despairing human hearts and souls, 
around it; consequently, how can it remain serene 
and peaceful surrounded by so much sorrow and 
suffering? The great cardinal principle of Eastern 
Occultism and its teachings is soul reincarnation. 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 115 

The same has been subject to great thought and 
study by the Western man, but many have failed to 
grasp the far-reaching significance of this great 
philosophy. He is given to doubt the great eternal 
law and truth of soul reincarnation. Yet nothing is 
more self-evident. No man is able to recall to his 
memory the previous condition of his existence, and 
because of this he believes it an impossibility. Does 
any person recall to memory the first six months or 
year of his earthly life? Yet he existed three and 
six months in an embryonic state before his birth, 
but has no recollection of this condition, but within 
every human soul, through the faculty of intuition, 
there is a consciousness that he has existed forever- 
more. Are you able to call to mind a day or second 
when you did not exist? or a time when your soul 
or spirit will ever cease to exist ? Death, as referred 
to previously in this chapter, is simply a change in 
conditions of the existence and actual condition of 
the soul. The soul certainly survives the change of 
conditions. The great advantage of death, or soul 
transition, lies in the fact that you are leaving behind 
and abandoning your poor physical body, which 
has held you down like a mighty weight, but the 
thought and sorrow that depresses the soul when it 
entertains the thought of death is driven out when 
you recollect that after soul transition you will dwell 
with those who have passed to the spirit life, and 



116 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

who are near and dear to you, and that your life 
ever after will be thoroughly happy. No human 
soul would desire or really look upon it as a blessing 
to enter a state of eternal existence encumbered with 
a diseased and worn physical body, for when the 
soul leaves the body it rids itself of it and its 
memories, which soon fade from the mind. The 
body and physical senses in themselves have been 
the means of our entertaining many illusions and 
follies. They have been the instigator of many of 
our crimes and shortcomings. The future state of 
existence of the soul is not one that will involve 
trouble or sorrow. Man's whole life is an illusion, 
and the past a dream, his present state of existence 
is actual, his future on the earth plane also is an 
illusion as far as the bodily senses are concerned, 
because, as has been stated, he is never satisfied or 
contented with his present surroundings or condi- 
tion, and is always cherishing a hope of wealth and 
future happiness some time in the future, but to him 
it is always in the future. His tomorrow becomes 
today, and a year from this day he expects to be 
happy, but that blissful time never materializes. The 
things and objects that he has so greatly desired 
and has expected to gain, flee from him like a rain- 
bow or like a bird that flits from branch to branch. 
Thus it is ever through life on the earth plane. Old 
men and women let their memory flit and dwell back 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 117 

over their past life like an individual who wakes 
up in the morning contemplating upon a dream. 
Then, and only then, the whole truth comes upon 
them that they have been chasing a rainbow, exist- 
ing in a paradise that has been folly, for how many 
desire to live over again their life if they were to 
undergo the same storms of fate, ambition and 
revenge ? 

WESTERN TEACHINGS 

Religion in the Western churches contains no 
immortality. The continuation of the soul after 
death to many of its members is a mere fanciful 
philosophy and it comes to them as a dim shadow. 
Nevertheless it is a stern reality, for death does not 
extinguish forever the human soul. It is true that 
that which begins at a given time must end at a 
given time. No man's life can begin at a certain 
period and go on ever afterwards, for if the life of 
man were to begin at a certain time and end at a 
given time this would have happened long, long, ago, 
as a great eternity lies behind you. Western teach- 
ings are not conducive to a man's studying or rea- 
soning a thing out from an Occult or spiritual 
standpoint. His views are purely material, every- 
thing is doubt and uncertainty, he is surrounded by 
a maze of doubts. He has no consciousness of the 
great Occult and spiritual powers which concern 



118 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

him. Many have little knowledge of the spiritual 
influences that seek to educate and develop him, for 
in his poor material blind way he turns his back and 
closes his soul to them. Many even sneer at the 
teachings of these great Hindu philosophers, but 
the individual who has become developed in things 
spiritual can easily feel those Occult and Spiritual 
powers which are concealed from the multitude of 
materialists or those who have not developed spir- 
itual sight, but the Western student or scientist must 
ever realize that when he sneers at Eastern Occult- 
ism or the teachings of the great philosophers, that 
all ancient wisdom and "wise men" have come from 
the East. The Jesus of the Holy Scripture thor- 
oughly understood the Occult secrets of the Eastern 
Cult and Brotherhood. Again, the Hindu of Sacred 
Caste, from the land of the Lotus and Magic, has 
descended from the subtle races who have developed 
strange and wonderful powers and have reached the 
highest pinnacle of spiritual culture. India was 
enchanted when Abraham and his cattle crossed the 
plains of Chaldea. The Hindu Priest, owing to his 
love for deep thought and solitary meditation, has 
developed latent powers and faculties far superior 
to the Western man. The Western student has the 
philosophy and teachings, also the life and works 
of Jesus, the Christ, and his Apostles written in the 
New Testament, but sad to say, there are few who 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 119 

are able to interpret them, and while it is not my 
intention to make any comparison between Christ, 
the Divine Nazarene, and Buddha, it should be 
plainly understood that the fundamental principles 
that underlie all religions are the same. A deep 
student of Occultism respects every teaching and 
every form and manner of religion. He makes no 
distinction between the rich and poor, the great and 
lowly, members of any creed or of any church. 
These great Hindu philosophers have passed beyond 
this. They are true Christians in every sense of the 
word, and are broad enough in their comprehension 
to realize the truth in the different religions. The 
hypocritical, narrow-minded church member or 
Christian thinks that he sees a vast difference and 
inquires, "Is this man of our creed and church?" 
but to the true Adept, in whom dwells great spiritual 
light and power, some good at least is to be ac- 
quired by all of the many forms of true faith. To 
him all souls are eternal from one eternal God head. 
True spiritism should teach mankind that his life 
on the earth plane, while filled with dread and 
despair, is one of growth and development which 
will ultimately lead him to wisdom and harmony. 

THE FEAR OF DEATH 

The fear of death by those persons who believe 
in the future life is altogether misplaced, but when 



120 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

people from birth have been thoroughly indoctri- 
nated into the belief that there is a Hell as well as a 
Heaven, and that they will most likely go to the 
former, because whatever belongs to human life is a 
mortal sin for the soul, they are naturally afraid, if 
they retained their religious belief, of the fire that 
is to burn them forever without destroying them. 
But most of those who are thus indoctrinated in 
their childhood, if possessed of judgment, throw 
aside that belief when they grow up, and, being un- 
able to assent to such a doctrine, become atheists or 
materialists ; so that the natural effect of such teach- 
ings is to make them believe that there is nothing 
beyond this present life. "Death has no terrors for 
the righteous man, because, with faith, he has the 
certainty of a future life; hope leads him to expect 
an existence happier than his present one, and char- 
ity, which has been the law of his action, gives him 
the assurance that, in the world which he is about 
to enter, he will meet with no one whose recognition 
he will have reason to dread." 

Inasmuch as death leads us to a better life, and 
since it delivers us from the ills of our present exist- 
ence, and is therefore to be rather desired than 
dreaded, many may wonder why in man there exists 
this instinctive dread of death, but as I have told 
you man must seek to prolong his life in order to 
accomplish his task. To this end God has given him 



SOUI/KEINCAKNATION. 121 

the instinct of self-preservation, and this instinct 
sustains him under all trials ; but for it he would too 
often abandon himself to discouragement. The inner 
voice, which tells him to repel death, tells him also 
that he may yet do something more for his advance- 
ment. Every danger that threatens him is a warn- 
ing that bids him make a profitable use of the respite 
granted to him by God; but he, ungrateful, gives 
•thanks more often to his "star of good fortune" 
than to his "creator.'' 

The carnally-minded man, more attracted by cor- 
poreal life than by the life of the spirit, knows only 
the pains and pleasures of terrestrial existence. His 
only happiness is in the fugitive satisfaction of his 
earthly desires; his mind, constantly occupied with 
the vicissitudes of the present life and painfully 
affected by them, is tortured with perpetual anxiety. 
The thought of death terrifies him because he has 
doubts about his future, and because he has to leave 
all his affections and all his hopes behind him when 
he leaves the earth. The spiritually-minded man, 
who has raised himself above the fictitious wants 
created by the passions, has, even in this lower life, 
enjoyments unknown to the carnally-minded. The 
moderation of his desires gives calmness and serenity 
to his spirit. Happy in the good he does, life has 
no disappointments for him, and its vexations pass 
lightly over his consciousness, without leaving upon 
it any painful impress. 



122 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

The human soul after it has ceased to inhabit the 
physical body and at death passes to the Astral 
Plane still possesses the powers of perception which 
it possessed in earth life, and many others which it 
did not possess in that life, because its body acted as 
a veil which obscured them. Intelligence is an 
attribute of spirit; but it is manifested more freely 
when not hindered by the trammels of flesh. "The 
nearer the soul approaches to perfection the. more 
it knows. Spirits of the higher orders possess a 
wide range of knowledge; those of the lower orders 
are more or less ignorant in regard to everything. " 

The life of spirits is exterior to the idea of time 
as perceived by us. The idea of duration may be 
said to be annihilated for them; ages, which seems 
so long to us, appear to them only as so many in- 
stants lapsing into eternity, just as the inequalities 
of the earth's surface are effaced and disappear be- 
neath the gaze of the aeronaut as he mounts into 
space. Spirits take a truer and more precise view 
of the present than we do. "Their view, in com- 
parison with yours, is pretty much what eyesight is 
in comparison with blindness. They see what you 
do not see; they judge, therefore, otherwise than 
you do. But I must remind you that this depends 
on their degree of elevation. ,, Spirits acquire the 
knowledge of the past, and this knowledge is with- 
out limits for them. "The past, when spirits turn 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 123 

their attention to it, is perceived by them as though 
it were present, exactly as is the case with you when 
you call to mind something which may have struck 
you in the course of your present life, with this dif- 
ference, however, that, as Astral Spirit's view is no 
longer obscured by the material veil which covers 
your intelligence, they remember things that are at 
present effaced from your memory. But Spirits do 
not know everything; for example, their creation." 

When spirits foresee the future it depends on 
their degree of advancement. Very often they fore- 
see it only partially; but, even when they foresee it 
more clearly, they are not always permitted to reveal 
it. When they foresee it it appears to them to be 
present. A spirit sees the future more clearly in 
proportion as he approaches God. After death the 
soul sees and embraces at a glance all its past emigra- 
tions ; but it cannot see what God has in store for it. 
This foreknowledge is only possessed by the soul 
that has attained to entire union with God after a 
long succession of existences. 

Spirits require no light in order to see things that 
are transpiring on the earth plane, as spirits trans- 
port themselves from point to point with the rapidity 
of thought they may be said to see everywhere at 
the same time. A spirit's thought may radiate at 
the same moment on many different points ; but this 
faculty depends on his purity. The more impure 



124 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

the spirit the narrower is his range of sight. It is 
only the higher spirits who can take in the whole at 
a single glance. 

THE FACULTY OF VISION AMONG 
SPIRITS 

The faculty of vision among spirits is a property 
inherent in their nature, and which resides in their 
whole being, as light resides in every part of a 
luminous body. It is a sort of a universal lucidity, 
which extends to everything, which embraces at one 
time space and things, and in relation to which dark- 
ness or material obstacles have no existence. And 
a moment's reflection shows that this must neces- 
sarily be the case. In the human being, sight being 
produced by the play of an organ acted upon by 
light, it follows that, without light, man finds him- 
self in darkness ; but the faculty of vision being an 
attribute of the spirit himself, independentely of any 
exterior agent, spirit-sight is independent of light. 
Spirits see more distinctly than mankind, for their 
sight penetrates what his cannot. They are also 
able to perceive and hear sounds that mankind with 
his obtuse senses cannot hear, as all the percepted 
faculties of a spirit are attributes of its nature form- 
ing part of its being. When man is encumbered 
with a physical body his sense of perception reach 
only through the channels of his physical sense 



SOUL BEINCAKJNTATION. 125 

organs. Spirits of higher orders see and hear only 
what they choose to, but evil spirits are compelled to 
see and hear, often against their will, whatever may 
be useful for their amelioration. Spirits are also 
affected by music, but there is no comparison with 
the music of the celestial realms, the harmony of 
which nothing on the earth plane can compare. The 
one in comparison with the other is crude and 
the melodies of spirit life are one of perfect har- 
mony. Earth-bound spirits, however, take great 
pleasure in hearing the music that is made by the 
hand of man, because they have not yet been able to 
appreciate anything more sublime. Music has great 
charms for spirits and is one of the best means of 
invocation, owing to the great development of their 
sensitive organs. Spirits do not experience our 
physical ailments and sufferings, as they know them, 
because they have undergone them, but they do not 
have to experience them materially : they are spirits. 
Neither do spirits experience fatigue and the need 
of rest. "They cannot feel fatigue as you under- 
stand it, and consequently they have no need of your 
corporeal rest, because they have no organs whose 
strength requires to be restored. But a spirit may 
be said to take rest, inasmuch as he is not constantly 
in a state of activity. He does not act materially; 
his action is altogether intellectual, and his resting 
is altogether moral; that is to say, that there are 



126 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

moments when his thoughts become less active and 
is no longer directed to any special object, and this 
constitutes for him a state which is really one of 
repose, but a kind of repose which cannot be likened 
to that of the body. The sort of fatigue which may 
be felt by spirits is proportionate to their inferiority ; 
for the higher their degree of elevation the less is 
their need of rest. 

PROOFS OF IMMORTALITY AFTER DEATH 

"Evidence adduced to demonstrate a peaceful and 
happy state beyond the tomb." 

Death brings every human being face to face with 
the greatest mystery known to man. It is that 
which closes all the scenes that lie between the morn 
of laughter and the night of tears, and where ends 
the false and true, the joys and griefs, the careless, 
shallow and the tragic deeps of earthly life. 

But why should you dread that which will come 
to all that that is? You do not know, you cannot 
realize which is the greatest blessing, life or death. 
You cannot say that death is not better, and those 
of you who believe in immortality know that the 
grave is not the end of your existence, but that it 
is the door to another and more beautiful life, and 
that the night of sadness here is the dawn of your 
soul into spiritual life. 



SOUL REINCARNATION*. 127 

No person standing beside a grave has any right 
to prophesy a future life filled with pain and sorrow ; 
for death gives all there is of worth to life, and 
those who stand with breaking hearts around the 
coffin of their dead need have no fear or sorrow for 
their future; for death, even at the worst, is only 
life continued. 

You all must know that every human being pre- 
fers happiness to misery, and that sorrow and gloom 
are but the result of mistakes, and when we look 
with pity upon those around us, upon their pain and 
poverty, their sorrow and despair, we realize the 
truth of the celebrated Hindu Adept's words, who 
was great and good enough to say : 

"There is no darkness, but ignorance." 

It is only ignorance of what death really is that 
causes anyone to regard it with dread and sorrow, as 
it has been noticed by many observing people who 
have been at the bedside of a dying friend or loved 
one that just as the soul is about to leave the poor, 
diseased body a bright smile appears in the face. 
The dying seem to realize and see that they are 
going to a better and happier life. 

The old idea of a fiery hell and eternal torment is 
fading away, and this generation seems to be get- 
ting a nearer insight into the spiritual and eternal 
life beyond the tomb, and that there is still some- 



12S DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

thing warm and familiar in those loved ones of ours 
for whom we yearn our past the grave, not cold and 
ghastly as they seemed at death, but human and 
sympathetic, with familiar faces; for they are not 
lost utterly to us even on earth, only a little farther 
off. 

There is a great wave of spiritual light spreading 
over the Western world, bringing man nearer to his 
ascended friends. The horizon broadens and is 
filled with a golden light and warmth. Man need 
not be afraid to die; for the soul there is no death, 
only continuous life. 

There will come a day when it will be demon- 
strated that the human soul throughout earthly ex- 
istence lives in a condition where it can have com- 
munion, actual and indissoluble, with those who 
have passed to the spirit world beyond, and that they 
can come to us at any time and are with us many 
times when we have no knowledge of their presence. 

Death is a delighted transition to light and peace 
with no fear; the dying, as the earthly eyes grow 
dim, can with their spiritual sight look across the 
border to that higher life. Voices from the spirit 
land are human and natural; for the only angels 
there are those of our friends and loved ones. All 
superstitious dread of ghosts and the dead should 
be banished, as should dread and terror of death, 
and in their place should come that sweet and sacred 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 12$ 

feeling of the lover and husband described in the 
following beautiful spiritual poem: 

ALONE WERE HE AND SHE 

"She is dead," they said to him, "Come away! 

Kiss her and leave her, thy love in clay." 

And they held their breaths, as they left the room 

With a shudder, to glance at the stillness and gloom. 

But he who loved her too well to dread 

The sweet, the stately, the beautiful dead, 

He lit his lamp and took his key 

And turned it — "alone were he and she" 

Our spirit, or our soul, is clad in an earthly body, 
and the spirits or souls from that higher life are clad 
in Astral Bodies. It may be asked in regard to 
spirit manifestations and communications, how are 
these things done ? Tell me how you think ; tell me 
how buds become flowers and blossoms fruit, or how 
all live and grow, or read carefully the ensuing pages 
of this volume on "Death" and they will tell you. 
All are as fully in accord with the natural law as the 
blooming of the rose or the rush of this great globe 
we live on, through the viewless air. 

The human heart hungers for the real presence of 
the dear departed. The tenderest sympathies and 
affections, the deepest demands of the soul and the 
loftiest range of the intellect, all reach toward the 



130 DEATH AND HINDU SP1EITISM. 

spirit life beyond and would make it interblend natu- 
rally and beautifully with our own earth life; com- 
munication with the souls of the dead meet these 
desires and should cause a harmonious search for 
truth and light. The fact of their presence near and 
with you is proof positive of immortality. They 
come to you, you feel their presence, realize their 
influence, yet you heed them not, due to ignorance 
of the science of Occultism and the human mind or 
soul. Possibly external scientific proofs of all this 
can not always be had by the materialist, but can the 
human mind be measured by a yardstick, or a soul 
weighed in a balance, or seen under the Western 
man's microscope? 

The yardstick philosophy of your most sapient 
scientists is inadequate in cases like this, and their 
solemn head-wagging over what it will not account 
for begins to look foolish to discerning people. They 
do good work in their way, but they cannot dissect 
a soul or measure God's universe. There are sev- 
eral things yet for them to learn more of ; especially 
do they need to learn two things : That the Astral 
Spirits (souls of the dead) can realize your danger 
or weakness and guide and protect you, and that to 
ridicule or repudiate what you cannot understand 
is what really wise men never do. 

The Western world is now entering upon a new 
era. The future will mark the past century as the 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 131 

era of intellectual freedom and activity, of spiritual 
light, of material development and inventive genius, 
and the century now opening as the era of spiritual 
culture and a more deep and interesting study of 
the human mind or soul of man. Every one is anx- 
ious to learn more of the Occult Powers of the soul, 
that mysterious and immaterial part of man, and 
those who interest themselves in the study of Indian 
Occultism and spiritualism will receive their reward. 
It is known throughout India and all Oriental coun- 
tries that the spirits of the dead visit and influence 
the living. This knowledge has been in all ages, in* 
all Eastern countries, an accepted fact not confined 
to rustics, but participated in by good and intelligent 
men. 

If human testimony can be of any value there is 
a body of evidence reaching from the remotest ages 
to the present time, as extensive and unimpeachable 
as is to be found in the support of anything what- 
ever that the souls of the dead do return. Spirit 
manifestations and communications come to us in 
our highest and purest condition of mind. It is then 
that the soul asserts its immortality. It demonstrates 
that your soul can and does exist without the brain, 
and is an intelligence still when disconnected from 
your material body. It furnishes proof of a future 
life for which so many crave, and for want of which 



132 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

so many live and die in anxious doubt, so many in 
positive disbelief. 

SPIRIT MANIFESTATIONS IN 
MYSTIC INDIA 

I have witnessed Spirit manifestations in many 
parts of Mystic India. Spirit communication is nor- 
mal to the open soul, and its highest conditions are 
as strong in the sacred atmosphere of home and 
friends as in far-off India. Spiritual thinkers of 
whatever class or name may well realize that they 
stand at the verge of a wide field, rich in promise 
and comfort for those who have near and dear ones 
who have passed to eternal spirit life. 

An old Hindu Priest of Delhi, India, said to a 
mother, heart-broken at the death of her child : "Be 
comforted ; it is only a separation — a separation and 
not a parting for you. The dead are not even ab- 
sent ; they are simply invisible to those whose Occult 
Powers or Inner Sight have not been developed. 
Every time you think intensely of your baby boy he 
will be attracted to you." This learned man would 
say to his friends : "We do not die altogether ; our 
individuality survives us, and while I am talking to 
you I know for certain that all around me are the 
Souls of my friends and Astral Guides, who assist 
me in producing these phenomena which astonish 
you all." 



SOUL EEINCAKNATION. 133 

His last hours were in a sort of trance, in which 
all his spirit friends came to him, and he looked for- 
ward with exceeding joy, speaking in tender and 
thoughtful affection to those around him, saying, 
"I am now with my friends," meaning Astral Spirits. 

And this is true with all who have died, and death, 
instead of being sorrow and grief, is simply a beau- 
tiful transition of the soul to a higher and purer life, 
full of light and peace. This is death and is as 
natural as any of God's laws. Thus it comes, light 
and peace, but no fear, for as our bodily eyes grow 
dim our spiritual sight is opened before us and we 
behold visions of our ascended friends and loved 
ones who have gone before us. We must be true 
and fearless and fettered by no superstition, realiz- 
ing that soul-knowledge is deeper than what the 
outer senses alone can give, and be in that "spiritual 
condition" of mind which makes the soul open to the 
noble influences which sweep through the universe. 
At death, or when the soul leaves the body and we 
stand between the two worlds, light comes to us 
from spirit life and our souls are lifted up in joy 
and reverence. 

One instance among others which has come under 
the writer's notice, showing the experiences of the 
last illness and death of a noble soul and Disciple 
of Eastern Occultism. I attended his funeral and 
learned from his daughter something of the last ill- 



134 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

ness of her father, who was over a hundred years of 
age, with no bodily disease, but only a weariness 
which led him often to murmur, "How long, O 
guides, how long." Healthful in mind and serene in 
soul he waited for the time when his soul would pass 
to spirit life. For weeks before it came he had 
visions of his ascended wife and son and of other 
friends who had died. His beautiful daughter, sit- 
ting at his bedside, would hear him quietly and 
pleasantly carrying on conversations with those 
whom none but the father could see. Occasionally 
the daughter would ask, "Father, who are they?" 
And always a rational and natural answer would 
be given. This was no fancy of a fevered brain, no 
excitement, but peace and cheerfulness. Thus came 
his death, a beautiful transition, full of light and 
peace, but no fear or terror. He had looked across 
the border and his spiritual sight had been opened 
wider as the bodily eyes grew dim. Such expe- 
riences are frequent in India and are of the Hindus 
rarely beautiful and instructive. 

MIST RISING FROM THE DEAD BODY 

Another Hindu girl, watching with her mother 
by the deathbed of a dying and dearly beloved sis- 
ter, says, when the end came, she distinctly saw a 
delicate mist rising from the dead body. When they 
asked the priest about it he said; "You saw life 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 135 

departing visibly from the physical form." This 
was at Benares, India. 

How many times have persons been present at 
the beside of a dying friend. The eyes closed, the 
last breath ceased and they thought their friend was 
dead. Suddenly the eyes opened; light came back 
to them; then a look of surprise, admiration, inex- 
pressible; then it passed away. This phenomenon, 
or the passing of soul, can be witnessed at the death- 
Led by any one who can properly induce the condi- 
tion which is commonly called clairvoyance, or, in 
other words, by the withdrawal of all the attention 
from other objects and affairs and the concentra- 
tion of thought and sympathy, as well as sight, on 
your dying loved ones and friends. You can then 
clearly see the separation of the spiritual body from 
the dying physical form, as clairvoyance is finer and 
farther reaching than the sight of your dull physical 
eyes. 

The spiritual body, which Paul speaks of, is the 
soul you see passing out of the body at death. With 
it your personality is not lost by bodily death, you 
cannot be anything but yourselves after that event 
any more than now. You shall not be formless and 
disembodied shadows. You cannot die. Paul says : 
''Although the outer man perish the inner is renewed 
day by day/' suggesting the thought of an imperish- 
able soul or spirit within the physical body. 



CHAPTER VI. 

GOD 

"God is the power and cause of all things and 
the Supreme Intelligence!' 

Many have said that God is infinity, but it should 
be remembered that God is infinite in His Power 
and Perfections of all things; but "infinity" is an 
abstraction, and to state that God is infinity is to 
ignorantly substitute the attribute of a thing for the 
thing itself, and to define something unknown by 
referring to some other thing equally unknown. 

The proof of the existence of God (which the 
writer desires to be understood as meaning the 
Supreme Intelligence and First cause and Power of 
all things) lies in the axiom which is applied in all 
the sciences and arts of mankind, viz. : "That there 
is no effect without cause.' , Seek ye out the cause 
and whatever is not the work of man has its first 
origin in God, and to prove to yourself the existence 
of God you have only to look around you on the 
works of His creation. The worlds exist, therefore 
they have a cause, and if you doubt the existence of 
God you doubt that every effect has a cause, and are 



138 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

assuming that the Great Universe, which lies directly 
under the control of the Supreme Creator, has been 
made from nothing. 

Every human soul infers from intuition the exist- 
ence of God, for from whence could the human soul 
and mind of man derive this intuition if it had no 
real foundation, and the direct inference to be drawn 
from this Divine intuition is a carollary of the 
axiom. There is never effect without cause. 

If our intuitive sense of the existence of God were 
the result of education and ideas acquired by re- 
ligious ideas and teachings how could this intuitive 
sense be possessed by the savage? Again if the 
intuition of the existence of a Supreme Being were 
only the result of religious education it would not 
be so universal, and would only exist like all other 
superficial knowledge, in the minds of those who had 
received the special education to which it would 
be due. 

To attribute the first formation of things to the 
essential properties of matter would be to take the 
effect for the first cause, for those properties are an 
effect which must have a cause. 

To attribute the first formation of things to a for- 
tuitous combination of matter, in other words, 
"Blind chance," is in itself another absurdity, for 
who that is possessed of common sense can regard 
chance as an intelligent agent, and, besides, what is 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 139 

Blind Chance? Answered, Nothing! for the har- 
mony which regulates the mechanism of the universe 
can only result from combinations adopted in view 
of predetermined ends, and thus, by its very nature, 
reveals the existence of an intelligent Power. To 
attribute the first formation of things to blind chance 
is substituting ignorance for intelligence; for if 
chance could be intelligence it would cease to be 
chance. 

SUPREME INTELLIGENCE 

The proof that you have that the first cause of all 
things is a Supreme intelligence superior to all other 
intelligence lies in the old maxim, which says, "The 
workman is known by his work." Gaze around you 
and meditate upon the quality of the work, and from 
its quality infer that of the workman. Every man 
should be fair-minded enough to judge the quality 
and power of an intelligence by its creations ; and as 
no human being could create that which is produced 
by God, it is evident that the first cause must be an 
intelligence paramount to man, and whatever may 
be the prodigies accomplished by human intelligence 
that intelligence itself must have a cause, and the 
greater must be the cause of which it is the effect, 
and it may be accepted as an absolute fact by man- 
kind, of every cult and creed that it is God, the great 
Supreme Power and intelligence, that is the first 



140 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

cause of all things, whatever the name by which 
mankind chooses to designate it. 

Again the very nature and inferiority of the 
human intelligence renders it impossible for man to 
comprehend the essential nature of God. In the 
infancy of the human race man often confounds the 
Creator with the creature, and attributes to the 
former the imperfections of the latter; but in pro- 
portion as man's moral sense becomes developed his 
thoughts penetrate further into the secret depths of 
nature and he is able to form to himself a more just 
and more natural idea of God, although his indi- 
vidual idea of the Supreme Being will always be 
imperfect and incomplete unless he develops his 
inner or spiritual sight, because he will never per- 
ceive spiritual works or things with his poor physical 
eyes, and only by spiritual development will he ever 
fully realize the essential nature and perfections of 
God, and his comprehension of them will increase 
in proportion as he raises himself above material- 
ism ; then he will obtain knowledge through the ex- 
ercise of his Occult faculties. Every person should 
understand that there are things in the universe that 
transcend the intelligence of the most intelligent 
man, and for which his language, limited as it is to 
his ideas and sensations, has no intelligent expres- 
sion. Man's reason tells him that God must possess 
those perfections in the Supreme Degree ; for, if one 



SOUL BEINCABNATION. 141 

of them were deficient or were not possessed by him 
in an infinite degree, He would not be superior to 
all and able to govern and guide a man, and con- 
sequently would not be God. In order to be able to 
provide and guide man God must undergo no vicis- 
sitions of which man's imagination can conceive. 
The infallible and providential wisdom of the Divine 
laws is revealed as clearly in the smallest things as 
in the greatest ; and this wisdom renders it impossi- 
ble for the intelligent person to doubt his existence, 
justice or His goodness. 

No human soul can doubt the existence of God 
because his intuition tells him better, and this is one 
essential point, but do not dare or seek to go beyond 
it, for if you do you will lose yourself in a labyrinth 
which for you will be without issue. This will not 
make you any better, but will rather tend to add to 
your pride, by causing you to imagine that you know 
something without proper spiritual development, 
while, in reality, you would know nothing. Put 
aside the teachings of materialism; you have many 
important spiritual things to concern yourself with. 
Study your own imperfections that you may get rid 
of them. This will be far more useful to you in 
understanding spiritual powers than anything else. 

The dictates of man's own reason will tell him 
that these facts are true, and if he reflects on teach- 
ings contrary to them he will have no difficulty in 
detecting their absurdity and will not oppose God. 



CHAPTER VIL 

SOUL AND BODY 

Soul and body become united at the very moment 
of conception, and is completed at the time of birth. 
Before conception a given entity or spirit is pre- 
ordained to become reincarnated in a body. At the 
moment of conception the spirit designated to in- 
habit a given body becomes united to said body by a 
fluidic element, which becomes closer and denser 
up to the moment of birth; the faint cry of the 
infant at birth announces and is the alarm that the 
entity is now to be numbered among the living on 
the earth plane. The union between a spirit or 
entity with its future body at the moment of con- 
ception is definitive. 

No other entity could replace the one designated 
for the body. The strands that unite a spirit and its 
fluidic body are at first very weak and easily broken 
and could be severed by the spirit or a number of 
spirits if they so wish, and of course in this case 
conception, although it had taken place, would not 
materialize and the child would die; then this 



144 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

spirit would inhabit another body; but death of 
this kind is more times caused by imperfections of 
matter. Many times such deaths are only intended 
as a trial for parents. Whenever a spirit or entity 
fails in reincarnating itself another existence is not 
always immediately provided for it. Many spirits 
after they become permanently united to an infant 
body regret their conditions and may complain of 
the life they are forced to undergo. The spirit, of 
course, after it becomes united to its body has no 
recollection that it became united to said body 
through its own choice, consequently it cannot re- 
gret a choice which it is not conscious of having 
made. This is one of the keys and causes of so 
many suicides, as you have many persons who be- 
lieve that their burden in life is to heavy to bear and 
that the only recourse is suicide. A spirit during 
the interval between conception and birth has the 
use of its faculties more or less, according to the 
various periods of gestation; for it is not yet fully 
incarnated in its new habitation or body, but only 
attached to it. But from the instant of conception 
concern begins to take possession of the entity, who 
is now aware that the vital moment is near for it to 
enter upon an earthly existence; its confusion and 
concern becomes more pronounced until the moment 
of birth. During the interval between conception 
and birth the spirit that is to be reincarnated passes 



SOUL RE1NCAKNATION. 145 

through a condition of concern that increases in 
portion as the moment of birth approaches, the 
knowledge of its past life and spiritual existence 
becomes effaced, together with its remembrance of 
all previous states and periods of existence, of which, 
when once it has entered upon earth life, it is no 
longer conscious of its past. But this memory will 
come back to it slowly after it returns to Spirit Life 
after death of its body. The Spirit at the moment 
of birth does not recover the plentitude of its facul- 
ties, as they become gradually developed with the 
growth of its physical organs and Earth Life, for 
it becomes an entirely new existence; it is even 
forced to learn to make use of its new body. In time 
certain ideas come back to it little by little, as a 
dream will gradually come to the surface of your 
memory. A complete union of spirit and body are 
not definitely consummated until the birth has taken 
place, and the foetus cannot be considered as having 
a soul, as the spirit who is to inhabit it exists as it 
were outside of it. Strictly speaking, therefore, it 
has no soul, since the incarnation of the entity is 
only in course of being effected, but is only attached 
to the soul which is to have it. The nature of intra- 
uterine life is that of the plant which vegetates. The 
foetus, however, lives with vegetable and animal life, 
to which the union of a soul with the child body at 

birth adds spiritual life. There are many children 

10 



146 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

so constituted that they cannot live. These births 
are preordained and permitted as a trial, either for 
the parents or for the spirit appointed tO' animate 
the body. Again, there are among still-born chil- 
dren many who* were never intended for the reincar- 
nation of a spirit. That is to sav, the foetus has 
never had the spirit assigned to it. The still-born 
infant being simply a trial for the parents. The con- 
sequence of abortion makes the existence of a spirit 
on the earth plane null and void and must be com- 
menced over again. Artificial abortion is a sin and 
crime, no matter at what period of gestation it may 
be produced, as every transgression of the law of 
God is a crime. The mother, father or any other 
person who commits an abortion, thereby taking the 
earth life of an unborn child away, is necessarily a 
criminal; for by so doing a soul is prevented from 
undergoing the trials of which the body thus de- 
stroyed has been the instrument. In case of the life 
of a mother being in danger by the birth of a child 
it is not a crime to sacrifice the body of the child in 
order to save the mother, for it is better to sacrifice 
the being whose existence on earth has not been be- 
gun than the existence of the being or soul which 
is not yet complete. The will and handiwork of 
God should be respected by treating the foetus with 
the same respect that would be given to the body 
of a child had it lived and died. 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 147 

"GRAVES OF THE DEAD" 

The soul is always affected by the remembrance 
by those whom they loved and cared for during their 
Earth Life, far more than the ordinary person has 
any idea; for, if they are happy on earth, this re- 
membrance adds to their happiness; if they 
were unhappy or had great misfortune and 
sorrow on earth it affords them much con- 
solation to know that they are remembered by their 
friends and loved ones after they have passed to 
Spirit Life. Every Soul is attracted toward its 
friends upon the earth by the return of the day 
which in some countries, especially India, is con- 
secrated to the memory of those who have passed to 
Spirit Life, and they always make it a point to go 
and mingle with those who on that day go to pray 
beside the graves where their mortal remains are 
interred, as every spirit or soul will readily answer 
to the call of affectionate remembrance on that day, 
as they do at any other time. Spirits ofttimes go to 
the cemeteries when called there by the thoughts of 
a loved one who may go to sorrow over their grave, 
but no spirit will go to a cemetery for any other than 
their friends. Upon spirits coming to these places, 
if they were to render themselves visible to their 
friends, their form and appearance would be the 
same as during their Earth Life. Spirits who are 
forgotten and whose graves no one ever visits, and 



148 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

for whom no one has any affection, very seldom ever 
visit their graves, because there is nothing to attract 
or attach them to it. Whenever a friend or loved 
one visits the grave of the dead it is a sign given to 
the spirit that he is not forgotten; but it is deep 
prayer that sanctifies the action of the memories; 
the place where it is offered is of little importance, 
whether it be at home or in the cemetery. Whenever 
head stones, monuments or statues are erected at the 
graves of the dead their spirits are present at this 
time and can witness these ceremonies with pleasure 
and satisfaction, greatly to the envy of the more un- 
fortunate in Spirit Life, but some spirits, of course, 
attach less importance to the honors paid to them 
than to the remembrance in which they are held. 

Some spirits desire to be buried in one place rather 
than another. This, of course, is a sign of inferior- 
ity on the part of a spirit that he should attribute 
importance to a matter purely material. To an ele- 
vated spirit one spot of earth is the same as another, 
and he realizes that his soul will be united with 
those whom he loves, even though their bones are 
separated; consequently it is unnecessary to bring 
together the mortal remains of all members of a 
family in the same burial lot, as this reunion is of 
very little importance to spirits, but it is useful to 
those whose remembrance of the spirits who have 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 149 

gone before them is thus strengthened and rendered 
more serious. 

Every soul upon its return to spirit life is grati- 
fied by the honors paid to its mortal remains. How- 
ever, when a spirit has reached a certain degree of 
advancement it becomes purified from the terrestrial 
vanities, for it comprehends their futility. But there 
are many spirits who, in the early periods of their 
return to immortal life, take great pleasure in the 
honors paid to their memory, or they are much dis- 
turbed and concerned at finding themselves com- 
pletely forgotten, for they still retain some of the 
false ideas they held during their Earth Life. Many 
spirits attend their own funeral, but in some cases, 
without really understanding what is going on, 
being, of course, still in that state of confusion that 
always follows death. They, of course, feel more or 
less flattered by the presence of a large number of 
persons at their funeral. Especially so if it is pure 
sentiment that has brought them together. Spirits 
are mostly always present at the meeting of their 
heirs, especially where there has been a will left for 
the disposition of their property and earthly posses- 
sions. Providence has so ordained it for the spirit's 
own instruction and for the chastisement of selfish- 
ness. The deceased is thus enabled to judge of the 
worth of the many protestations of affection and 
devotion addressed to them during their earth life; 



d50 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

their disappointment on witnessing the rapacity of 
those who dispute the property they have left is often 
very great; however, the punishment of their greedy 
heirs will fall to them in due time. The respect 
which mankind, in all ages and among all people, 
has always instinctively shown to the dead, is to be 
attributed to an intuitive belief in a future state of 
existence. The one, of course, is the natural con- 
sequence of the other; for were it not for this be- 
lief such respect would have neither object or mean- 
ing. Two souls who have known and loved each 
other upon the earth plane may meet and recognize 
one another upon the Astral Plane. The attraction 
resulting from the ties of a previous existence upon 
the earth plane is often the cause of the most inti- 
mate unions of a subsequent existence. It often 
happens upon the earth plane that two persons are 
attracted together by conditions which appear to be 
merely fortuitous, but this is really due to the attrac- 
tion exercised upon one another by two spirits who 
are unconsciously seeking each other amidst the 
crowds by whom they are surrounded. Two spirits 
existing upon the Astral Plane who are in harmony 
naturally seek one another, even if they have not 
been previously acquainted with each other upon the 
earth plane. The instinctive repulsion sometimes 
excited in persons who see each other for the first 
time is due to the latent antipathy of their spirits, 



SOUL KEINCAENATION. 151 

who divine each other's nature and recognize one 
another without the need of speaking together. This 
instinctive antipathy of course cannot always be 
taken as a sign of an evil nature on the part of one 
or both of the parties who feel it, as two spirits are 
not necessarily evil because they are not sympathetic, 
as this antipathy may have its origin from a want of 
similarity in their way of thinking. But in spirit 
life as the soul ascends these degrees of difference 
are effaced and their antipathy will disappear. On 
the Astral Plane an evil spirit feels an antipathy 
against any person who is able to judge and unmask 
him. On meeting such a spirit for the first time 
he knows that he will be disapproved by him, and his 
repulsion changes into hatred or jealousy and in- 
spires him with a desire of doing harm to the object 
of his antipathy. A good spirit always feels repul- 
sion for an evil one, because it knows that it will 
not be understood by it, and that they do not share 
the same sentiments; but, strong in his own super- 
iority, he feels neither hatred nor jealousy toward 
him and contents himself with avoiding and pitying 
him. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

"DREAMS" 

The human soul while on the Earth Plane 
never rests like the body during sleep, for the soul 
is never inactive. The bonds which unite it to the 
body are relaxed during sleep, and as the body does 
not then require the presence of a spirit or soul it 
can travel through space. (This is sometimes 
spoken of as propelling the Astral Body.) The 
soul can now enter into more direct relation and 
communication with the spirits of the Astral Plane. 
You may ask how you can be able to ascertain the 
fact of a spirit's liberty during sleep. I will inform 
you. Simply by dreams ; for you may be very sure 
that, when the body is asleep the soul or spirit enjoys 
the use of its Occult faculties, of which the outer 
man or body is unconscious while awake. The soul 
in this condition remembers the past and is able to 
forsee the future. By acquiring more power it is 
also able to enter into communication with other 
spirits, either on the Earth or Astral Plane. Many 
a person has often remarked that they have had a 
horrible and strange dream, in fact a frightful 



154 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

dream, without any likeness to reality. This is a 
mistake, for a dream is often the remembrance of 
places and things which you have seen in the past, 
or a foresight of those which you will see in your 
existence upon the Astral Plane at some future time, 
or in this in the near future. Very few human souls 
know little of anything of the commonest phenom- 
ena of their life. They may fancy themselves to 
be very learned, but they are easily puzzled by the 
most ordinary thing. A small child may ask you 
what do we do when we are asleep? What are 
dreams? You have no knowledge of them and are 
incapable of giving an intelligent reply. Sleep 
affects a partial separation of the soul from the body. 

WISE MEN OF THE EAST 

During deep sleep the soul rests, for the time being, 
in a state and condition in which it will be after 
death. Those spirits who at death are promptly 
freed from the physical body are those who during 
their lives have had what may be called spiritual 
sleep, as they, when asleep, mingle in the society 
of other spirits superior to themselves. The soul 
then can go about with them, conversing with them 
and gaining instruction from them ; they even work, 
in the spirit world, at undertakings, which, on dying, 
they find already completed. So as I have instructed 
you in the beginning of these writings you see how 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 155 

little death should be dreaded, since, according to 
the saying of the Wise Men of the East, "You die 
daily." What has been written above refers of 
course to those souls who while inhabiting the body 
have lived in an elevated degree of advancement. 
The unlearned and common people and those not 
advanced in Occult and spiritual teachings, after 
their death, remain for many days in a state of con- 
fusion and uncertainty of which you have no idea, 
for during their sleep they have went into spirit 
realms of lower rank than the earth, to which they 
are drawn to by old affections, or by the attractions 
of pleasures still baser than those to which they are 
addicted while awake. During these visits they 
gather ideas more vile, more ignoble and more devil- 
ish than those which they possessed during their 
working hours. Again, that which engenders sym- 
pathy in the earthly life is nothing else than the fact 
that you feel yourselves on waking affectionately 
attracted toward those with whom you have passed 
many hours of happiness or pleasure. On the other 
hand, the true explanation of the invincible anti- 
pathies you sometimes feel for certain persons is also 
to be found in the intuitive knowledge you have thus 
acquired of the fact that those persons have a soul 
unfit to mingle with you and you feel that you know 
them without having previously seen them with your 
bodily eyes. It is this same fact, moreover, that ex- 



156 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

plains the indifference of some people for others ; for 
there are many who do not care to make new friends 
because they know that they have others in spirit life 
by whom they are loved and cherished. And I give 
it unto you as a warning that dreams and sleep have 
more influence in shaping your earth life than you 
have any idea. For by the effect of sleep the soul 
is always in connection with the spirits of the Astral 
Plane ; again through the effects of sleep, incarnated 
spirits are directly in connection with the spirit 
world; and it is in consideration of this fact that 
spirits of a high order consent, without much resist- 
ance, to incarnate themselves among you. It has 
been so willed that during their contact with vice 
they may go forth and fortify themselves afresh at 
the source of rectitude in order that they who have 
come into your world to instruct others may not fall 
into evil themselves. Reincarnated spirits always 
sleep the sleep of peace and this sleep is the avenue 
open for them by the great Creator that they may 
pass through it to their friends in the spirit world. 
This is their reward and recreation after labor, while 
awaiting the great deliverance, the final liberation, 
that will restore them to their true place in spirit life. 
Dreams are the remembrance of what your soul has 
experienced and seen during sleep. Many may re- 
mark that they do not always dream. Because they 
do not always remember what they have seen it is no 



SOUL EEINCAENATIOK". 157 

sign that the soul has not been active during sleep. 
Dreams themselves do not always reflect the action 
of your soul in its full development; for they are 
often only the reflection of the confusion that accom- 
panies your departure or your return back into the 
body, mingled with a vague remembrance of what 
you have done, or what has occupied your thoughts 
in your waking state. Again, evil spirits, also, make 
use of dreams to frighten and torment weak and 
timid souls. 

THE PRACTICAL STUDENT OF OCCULTISM 

The practical student of Occultism (and what I 
mean by this is an individual or soul who is sincere 
in their desire to learn and become developed in an 
Occult and spiritual way, for there is nothing but a 
curse that will ever come out of the effort of a soul 
that is not sincere in seeking after occult teach- 
ings) will before long become developed so that he 
can reason out any kind of a dream. The nature 
of these dreams is one that has been given to every 
ancient prophet and Hindu Priest. The dream I 
allude to is one that is a remembrance of the soul's 
experience while entirely free from the body. The 
memory as it is of your second life, because you 
people of the western world prefer to remark that 
when death takes place you have lived one life, but 
you should always recollect that you only live one 



158 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

life, and that that life is eternal. It would be far 
more sensible and intelligent upon your part to say 
that you have experienced a section or a given part 
of your existence. Every person should use great 
care in distinguishing between the two kinds of 
dreams that everyone is liable to have, for as re- 
marked before in this chapter, there is one dream 
that may be given by an evil spirit, the other is a kind 
of a dream that is produced by the experience of the 
soul in its future life. The true dream is a product 
of the emancipation of the soul and is rendered 
more real and active by the suspension of the 
active life of relation to the earth plane. The soul 
in this state will now enjoy a sort of clairvoyance 
which extends to places at a great distance from it, 
that that soul has never seen, even to other worlds. 
This state of interior concentration of the soul, or 
emancipation as it is generally termed in India, but 
spoken of in this country as clairvoyancy, is also due 
to the remembrance which retracts to our memory 
the events that have occurred in our present exist- 
ence or in our preceding existence. The strange- 
ness of the surroundings of the soul when the Astral 
Body is propelled and taken to worlds unknown, is 
something that will be realized by their soul in this 
condition. A failure to remember all of your dreams 
is explained by the gaps resulting from the incom- 
pleteness of your remembrance of what has appeared 



SOUL EEINCAENATIOr. 159 

to you and what you have experienced while in a 
deep sleep. This incompleteness is similar to that 
of a story where whole sentences or parts of it have 
been dropped or forgotten by chance, and its remain- 
ing parts have been thrown together at random and 
have lost all intelligent meaning. The reason why 
many do not remember their dreams is that what 
they call sleep is only the repose of the body for the 
spirit and soul is always active and in motion. The 
soul during sleep again recovers its liberty and can 
enter into communication with those who are dear 
to it, either on the Earth Plane or upon the Astral 
Plane, and this is the reason why so many persons 
dream that they have been with and had certain ex- 
periences with people who are dead. A person will 
sometimes dream that they have been with a soul 
which has died, and experienced the same suffering 
that the soul did while on earth, but in reality they 
have been in the society of those souls and mingled 
with them on the Astral Plane, while they them- 
selves thought they were only sound asleep. The 
physical or outward bodily senses are heavy and 
gross, and a dream cannot always be remembered by 
them. Consequently it is very difficult for these 
senses to retain upon waking the wanderings and 
experiences of the soul while said senses have been 
asleep, because these experiences have not been re- 



160 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

ceived by the soul through the outward or bodily 
organs. 

No dream is really an indication of the sense at- 
tributed to it by many of the so-called fortune tell- 
ers ; but it is not foolish to believe that a certain kind 
of a dream is the sign of a certain event which is 
about to happen. But they are indications in this 
sense — viz., that they present images which are real 
for the spirit, though they may have nothing to do 
with what takes place in his present corporeal life. 
Dreams are also, in many cases, as I have said, a re- 
membrance ; they may also be sometimes a presenti- 
ment of the future, if permitted by God, or the sight 
of something which is taking place at the time in 
some other place to which the soul has transported 
itself. Have you not many instances proving that 
persons may appear to their relatives and friends in 
dreams, and give them notice of what is happening 
to them ? What are apparitions, if not the soul or 
spirit of persons who come to communicate with 
you ? When you acquire the certainty that what you 
saw has really taken place, is it not a proof that it 
was no freak of your imagination, especially if what 
you saw were something which you had not thought 
of when you were awake ? 

Those things may take place in the experience of 
the spirit, though not in that of the body; that is to 
say, that the Soul sees what it wishes to see because 



SOUL REINCAKNATION. 161 

it goes to find it. You must not forget that, during 
sleep, the spirit is always more or less under the 
influence of matter; that, consequently, it is never 
completely free from terrestrial ideas, and that the 
objects of its waking thoughts may therefore give to 
its dreams the appearance of what it desires or 
of what it fears, thus producing what may be prop- 
erly termed ah effect of the imagination. When the 
mind is much engaged with any idea, it is apt to 
connect everything it sees with that idea. 

You may say that in a dream, we see persons who 
are well known to us doing things which they are 
not in any way thinking of, is it not a mere effect of 
the imagination ? 

Of which they are not thinking? How do you 
know that it is so? Their spirit may come to visit 
yours, as yours may go to visit theirs; and you do 
not always know, in your waking state, what they 
may be thinking of. And besides, you often, in your 
dreams, apply to persons whom you know, and ac- 
cording to your own desires, impress or influence 
them. Is it necessary to the emancipation of the soul 
that the sleep of the body should be complete? 

The soul recovers its liberty as soon as the senses 
become torpid. It takes advantage, in order to 
emancipate itself, of every moment of respite left it 
by the body. As soon as there occurs any prostra- 
tion of the vital forces, the spirit disengages itself 



1G2 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

from the body, and the feebler the body, the freer 
is the soul. For even in the dozing state or a mere 
dulling of the outward senses the same phenomena 
will be experienced. Again, many times a person 
will hear as it were within themselves words dis- 
tinctly pronounced or spoken, still having no mean- 
ing or connection whatever with the subject which 
they are thinking. Indeed you may often hear 
words and entire sentences, especially so when the 
outward or physical senses become quiet. This is an 
impression or transmission of the utterance of a 
spirit who wishes to communicate with you. Again 
when only half asleep with your eyes closed you see 
distinct images or figures around you ; these are dis- 
embodied spirits. There are many times when a per- 
son is half-asleep that they have superior ideas pass 
through their mind in relation to some business or 
project, but which despite all their efforts to recall 
them are effaced from their memory when waking. 
This is the result of the freedom that the soul has 
enjoyed during its emancipation from the body 
when it can use the proper faculty during its time 
of liberty from the body to become advised and 
counseled by the spirits of the Astral Plane. 

SPIRIT COUNSEL AND ADVICE 

It may be remarked, where is the use of this 
counsel and advice since we do not remember it after 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 163 

we have awakened, or how can we profit by it; but 
it should be remembered that this advice comes from 
the spirits of the Astral Plane and although the body 
or outward man may forget, the spirits do not, and 
they will continue at the proper time to give these 
ideas, advice and counsel to you and you will realize 
it as coming to you some time in the future as an 
inspiration. It is a well known fact that many per- 
sons have had a presentment of their death, and even 
a clear foreknowledge of it. This counsel and knowl- 
edge has been given to them by Astral Spirits and 
it is thus that some persons are enabled to foresee 
the time of their death or the death of another with 
perfect exactness. The reason why the physical 
body feels fatigued or a person may sometimes feel 
tired and nervous after waking from sleep, is be- 
cause the spirit, during its emancipation, reacts upon 
the body in the same manner that you may attach or 
fasten a kite or balloon to a post, the post is shaken 
and affected by the movements of the balloon or 
kite, so it is that the experiences or activity of the 
soul reacts to the body, and may leave it in a fa- 
tigued and nervous condition, and in this explana- 
tion will be found the reason why many people are 
never profited by sleep. This emancipation or tour- 
ing of the soul during sleep proves that every human 
being leads two lives, that is, his relation to the earth 
plane, which is exterior, and the Occult relation 



164 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

of the soul to spirit realms or the Astral Plane. 
Practically speaking, of course this does not in itself 
constitute two lives, but rather two phases of one 
and the same life, for no person can lead a double 
life. Many persons who are acquainted with one 
another, visit one another in this Spiritual or Occult 
way while asleep. This act of visiting during sleep 
of friends, relatives, and acquaintances is extremely 
frequent, and there is scarcely a person who does not 
experience some phenomena almost every night, and 
the intuition or impression of it usually remains with 
them after they awaken, and is often the origin of 
certain ideas which afterward occur to them as it 
were, spontaneously without their being able to ac- 
count for it. In other words, you may have a cer- 
tain impression, a certain sympathy, or a decided 
antipathy for a person, that you yourself, that is 
the outward man, will not be able to account for, but 
in reality you have obtained this knowledge or im- 
pression through spirit intercourse which has been 
carried on during your sleep. A person can insure 
the visit of a spirit to him during his sleep by an 
exertion of his will, by simply literally deciding to 
himself upon going to sleep, that he will go and meet 
such and such a person in spirit life and consult or 
seek his advice regarding a certain matter or thing. If 
the person who decides to do this is firm and stead- 
fast of mind, after he has gone to sleep his spirit will 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 165 

pass to the Astral Plane, buj: unless he is of a firm 
and steadfast mind, his spirit is often far from fol- 
lowing out the plan which has been resolved upon 
by the outward man, as thoughts and ideas of the 
outward senses do not always interest the spirit or 
soul when it becomes clairvoyant. There are many 
times that the same idea or the discovery of a cer- 
tain thing oftentimes suggests itself at a certain time 
to different persons, although they may be at a 
great distance from one another, for during sleep 
spirits or souls communicate with one another and 
thus spirits or souls who are still in the body upon the 
earth plane awaken and remember what they have 
seen, heard and learned from spirit life. It is thus 
that several persons may have identical ideas at the 
same time of the same thing, for in this way one 
spirit on the Astral Plane may often reveal to souls 
in the body many things without their being aware 
of it, as the spirits upon the Astral Plane are able 
to form an idea of the object of our meditation be- 
fore we pass to sleep. After the spirit or soul passes 
to the Astral Plane it is no longer encumbered with 
the physical body and can radiate wherever it pleases 
in any direction, and the spirit can then hold com- 
munication with other spirits with whom it is in 
sympathy, and it can also, as written above, com- 
municate with other souls while they are still an 
inhabitant of the body. There is also different souls 



166 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

dwelling on the earth and on the Astral Plane, be- 
tween which communication is so keen and 
clear that it enables two persons or spirits to under- 
stand each other without having any need of human 
speech, and it may be well said that they speak the 
language of spirits. 

OCCULT AUROS AND ASTRAL WAVES 

During the act of Dreaming, the fragments of 
Mental Impressions and Images float about, like 
the motes that dance in the sunbeams to the Central 
Sun. Touching each other, they blend and adhere 
to each other, thereby forming as it were, a great 
system of Mental Telepathy. During sleep these 
Astral Waves of thought and Mental Impressions, 
pass and flow from soul to soul, with wonderful 
accuracy and exactness, for these Mental and Oc- 
cult Currents of thought, dominate over the physical 
sense organs. The regular outward organs of 
thought are for the time suspended. Sensation and 
physical perception, memory, reflection, desire and 
action no longer succeed each other in the manner 
of the waking state. When the mind is 
especially sensitive and passive, it becomes so 
clear that impressions of ideas or, of facts, 
and also Spirit Communications may be re- 
ceived from the Souls of the Astral Plane, or from 
minds distant, still inhabiting the body, or even from 



SOUL KEINCAKNATTON. 167 

those in our immediate surroundings. This Occult 
Auro or Astral Fluid is even finer than the ordinary 
sunlight, hence, it is impossible to represent its ex- 
treme beauty and delicacy, in a painting or an en- 
graving, and it is only to be seen by the sensitive 
Medium or Clairvoyant under a decidedly increas- 
ing intensity of common vision, or at such times as 
the rods and cones of the eye become more tense 
under some forms of mental excitement, when con- 
sequently, they vibrate to the fine Occult Auros and 
Astral Waves. This Auro will then appear as a soft, 
diffused light around the head and form of an in- 
dividual, or it may shoot out in glowing bands or 
it may form irridescent clouds at a greater or less 
distance from him. This Auro and Astral Force 
often appears like a crown of Spiritual Brightness, 
decorated with flaming jewels. When a person is 
greatly excited and active, this Aurora will be bright 
and intense, flashing up vividly. This is sometimes 
expressed by saying that your mind feels bright. A 
public speaker whose soul and mind is greatly ex- 
cited, is said to make a brilliant effort. Those who 
use these terms regard them simply as figures of 
speech, little dreaming that in Occult Science it will 
be proved that they were true in the most literal 
sense. During sickness this Auro is thrown off 
from the body of the person who is dull and ob- 
scure, for during sickness the mind is dull and the 



168 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

thought slow. A refined and Spiritually developed 
person will throw off an Auro of clear light blue 
color. But the Auro of one of the opposite nature, 
in which sensuality predominates, will be of a dull 
red and foul and impure in its nature. When a 
person is enlightened, he increases the quality and 
quantity of this Astral Force. To the eye of the 
sensitive, or the Clairvoyant, these Astral Auros 
appear like an illuminous force of sunlight, radiat- 
ing from the body of an individual as only Astral 
Waves give out a light that is of infinite softness. 
This is sometimes spoken of as the sun of righteous- 
ness. A good Auro is the reward of intellectual cul- 
ture, refined and Spiritual excellence. Every object 
radiates Astral Forces which impress an image of 
itself upon the soul of the Clairvoyant and also upon 
surrounding objects, for if you lay a key or ring 
upon a smooth plate of steel for a short time, and 
then remove it, the image of the key or ring may 
be evoked by heating the plate. This may be done 
years after the contact, so, whether consciously or 
not, the human mind and soul and the objects of the 
Universe are thus continually writing their history 
in these marvelous pictures. By coming in con- 
tact with a person or an object the sensitive or 
Clairvoyant may perceive and describe the images 
and impressions they have received and retained. 
For example, by holding a manuscript letter in gen- 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 169 

tie contact with the forehead or the hand, the per- 
sonal appearance and even the thoughts of the writer 
at the time of writing may be faithfully described. 
A fossil plant, or animal examined in this way, gives 
up a faithful picture of its ancient surroundings, in 
pre-historic ages. In the experiments and Occult 
Work of the Hindus, this is done again and again. 
Those acts of contact which express the various 
forms of affection prove the reality of this Spiritual 
Auro beyond all possibility of a doubt. All animals 
with a distinct nervous system, from the insignificant 
worm up to man, express their sexual, parental, filial 
or friendly affection, by the contact of caressing. 
Among human beings alone, there are millions of 
examples where this fact is fully illustrated daily. 
And only one explanation is possible. There must be 
some actual force passing from one living being to 
another in these acts of caressing. This soul and 
Astral Force is a vital part to everyone and its pro- 
jection and reception in this way is just as real as 
the reception of force through the food we eat ; thus 
parental, filial, fraternal and sex-love are connected 
with the lips and with the bosom; hence, kissing or 
caressing brings out this Auro or force which ex- 
presses these affections. 

Through this radiating force one person actually 
imparts something of his being to another person 
and to every being which he touches, or is brought 



170 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

in contact with, and, in turn, he constantly receives 
from the accumulated force left by others, and it is 
by the means of these influences, or Auro, which is 
invisible to the physical eye of man, that a dog is able 
to follow his Master or identify him by a garment 
that he has worn. In any locality where a large num- 
ber of wise, good and refined people exist, there will 
be an Auro thrown out and radiated from one to the 
other, that will last for many years. Such a refined 
atmosphere or Auro is highly favorable to clearness 
of thought, social and spirtual harmony. It is a part 
of human destiny to surround a given point in this 
way with the living Auro of refinement, Spiritual 
Truth and Love. This law should teach man that 
he is responsible to his fellow being for every 
thought, and feeling which he entertains as well as 
for every action which he performs. These silent 
Occult Auros and Astral waves vibrate from soul 
to soul, whether the soul inhabits the Spirit World 
or whether it still retains its habitation in the physi- 
cal body. All human souls are united by an insep- 
arable link of a composite Spiritual and Occult Force 
and when the Hindu tells you that there is a great 
Occult Antiquity and Sympathy existing between 
all things in the Universe he speaks the truth. 



172 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 



"INDIA, THE LAND OF OCCULTISM:' 

In this broad land, the gathered 
Occult thought of centuries is 
Presented in all its varied acceptations. 
The Disciple needs must reap superabundant 
Harvest, perhaps the most, from those 
Who differ farthest; as I have heard, 
Sometimes extremes, by meeting, 
But prove they have a circle been completing. 

Dr. de Laurence. 



CHAPTER IX. 

DEATH TRANCE 

During the state of Death Trance, an individual 
always sees, and hears what is taking place around 
him, but at the same time he is unable to manifest 
himself through the outward organs, but it is not 
through the bodily senses that he has received the 
impressions of his earthly environments, for they are 
received by and through the Occult faculties of the 
soul, and the reason why the individual cannot ex- 
press himself is because the state of his body pre- 
vents him from doing so, and this peculiar state of 
the physical body and its organs demonstrates that 
man consists of something more than a material 
body, for right here we have an illustration of the 
body and its organs that no longer work, for they are 
completely inactive, yet the spirit and soul has per- 
fect action and great freedom, also wonderful intel- 
ligence. The human soul in this peculiar state of 
lethargy or coma can entirely separate itself from 
the physical body so as to give the latter all the 
outward appearances of death, and afterwards come 
back and inhabit it ; for while in this state the body 



174 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

itself is not dead as it still continues to accomplish 
its functions and coagulation will not take place in 
the circulatory system. The body's vital powers, as 
in chrysalis, are not annihilated and the spirit will 
remain connected with the physical body as long as 
it remains alive, and the body will remain alive as 
long as the spirit and soul is linked or connected 
with it, and it is only when this strand is snapped 
asunder, that death and disaggregation of the bodily 
organs take place, it is then that the separation of the 
soul and body, soul transition and death, as it is 
termed in this country, takes place. After this the 
spirit can never come back into the body, and in any 
case where one has apparently died comes back to life 
again, it is because the strand which unites body and 
soul has not been broken, or in other words, the 
process of death has not been entirely consummated. 
It is also possible by means of timely spiritual help 
to strengthen these ties which were about ready to 
part, and to give back life to a person who but for 
this help would have died. Death Trance precedes 
from the temporary loss of sensibility, power and 
motion, which is psychologically explained in this 
chapter. In the condition of Death Trance the sup- 
pression of the vital powers is complete and gives to 
the body all the appearances of death, but in cata- 
lepsy this suppression is localized and may affect the 
whole or less extensive portion of the body, while 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 175 

leaving the intelligence free to manifest itself. 
Lethargy or coma is perfectly natural, that is to say, 
that it has its origin in natural law. Catalepsy is, 
strictly speaking, a condition which has been pro- 
duced spontaneously, and may be produced and dis- 
sipated by artificial means, such as hypnotism, etc. 
The Lethargic state or Death Trance is an inde- 
pendent condition or Coma-Somnolentun state which 
is characterized by the diminution of the powers of 
voluntary motion, and from which it is very diffi- 
cult and at times impossible to arouse the patient; 
for having once passed into this comatose state he 
ceases to be "en rapport" with those around him and 
having passed completely from his physician. This 
condition of Coma when induced by hypnotism is 
the result of the operator permitting his subject to 
remain inactive too long after he has induced som- 
nambulism. This is an extremely dangerous state, 
and the operator should guard against it by keeping 
his subject interested and doing something. He 
should be kept engaged and active by inducing vari- 
ous delusions. This employs his imagination and 
keeps him conscious of his environments and sus- 
ceptible to suggestion; but if left to himself and 
preoccupied his eyes will assume the trance-like or 
vacant state and he is very liable to pass into the 
Death Trance or State of Coma. If the hypnotist 
has more than one subject under control at the same 



176 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

time he should be very careful to keep them all busy 
by doing something to attract their attention, and if 
he cannot use them all at once he should awaken 
some of them before they pass into this apparently 
lifeless condition. 

There is no doubt that many people have been 
in this state of Coma when the autopsy has been per- 
formed upon their supposed dead body, and their 
heart and other vitals will give unmistakable signs 
of life during the autopsy if in this state. 

This strange psychical condition of profound 
trance or Lethargy, which so accurately counterfeits 
and resembles death that living interments are often 
made, is a form of suspended animation, there being 
an absolute suspension of the heart and lung action 
attending the induction of this profound degree of 
lethargic sleep. This phenomenon of suspended 
functions is characterized by an absence of bodily 
warmth, accompanied by all the ordinary indications 
and usual evidences of departed life, and giving the 
body every appearance of a corpse. The duration 
of this death-trance before the spirit or soul takes 
its final leave and passes from the body, is very in- 
definite, being governed by conditions decidedly com- 
plex in character and assuming various aspects, de- 
termined by the different mental and physical phases 
with which it is associated. There can be little 
doubt but that there are many persons buried alive 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 177 

while in this comatose state. Its duration being in- 
definite and the characteristics similar to those of 
death, the attending physician, if he has no knowl- 
edge of medical Psychology or Spiritism, will, after 
administering the usual stimulants and means of 
provoking reaction (and these fail of course) unhes- 
itatingly pronounce the patient dead and the unfor- 
tunate being is placed in his coffin, where he regains 
consciousness and dies a, horrible death, suffering 
agony of suffocation or dies under the knife on a 
dissecting table. 

LIVING INTERMENT 

A case of living interment which came under the 
author's notice in India was that of a young Hindu 
of low caste, about thirty years of age, who took an 
Indian drug called Cannabis Indica or Indian Can- 
nabis (made from the plant Cannabis Sativa), with 
suicidal intent. He was to all appearances dead 
when found by relatives. An English physician was 
called and after making the usual examination and 
tests in such cases, pronounced the young man 
dead. His funeral services were held three 
days later; the coffin containing the supposed 
corpse being placed in a receiving cave. At the ex- 
piration of the ten days, the time set for burial, 
the coffin was opened by the attendant in order 

that the relatives might have a last look at their 

12 



178 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

dead. A horrible sight met their gaze — a sight 
that filled their hearts with horror and unut- 
terable grief. The young man had turned half over 
upon his left side, while in his right hand, clenched 
in death's agony, was found fragments of hair which 
had been torn from his head. The cloth around his 
neck also showed evidence of his attempt to tear it 
away during the struggle he had made against death. 

In these cases of profound trance or lethargy nei- 
ther coagulation nor decomposition set in; even 
though its duration be from three to six months. 
And strange as it may seem to the uninformed, the 
soul continues its existence within the body and life 
is sustained without air; but once the patient is re- 
vived and resumes his normal condition he must 
have air to breathe or he will die. 

This death trance or comatose state can be in- 
duced by voluntary effort or Auto-Suggestion. 
While in this condition and apparently unconscious 
and unaffected by any of the stimulants which or- 
dinarily induce reaction, the patient really does ap- 
pear corpse-like, and it is well for the medical man, 
when called in a case of death trance, suspected to be 
either of a hypnotic or hysterical or drug origin, to 
understand something of this strange psychical con- 
dition, that he may know the best course to adopt * 



* Instructions for producing reaction will be found 
in Dr. de Laurence's celebrated work entitled 
(C Medical Hypnosis'' Physicians' Edition. 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 179 

In the deep condition of death trance the inde- 
pendence of the soul is more decided, as its functions 
are more developed, than during the sleeping state, 
and it has preceptions that it has not during sleep. 
For in trance the soul is entirely free from any con- 
nection with matter or the material organs. This 
state is deeper than catalepsy or lethargy and the 
soul is no longer receptive to external impressions. 
The death trance condition may occur during deep 
sleep, for then the spirit is able to absent itself from 
the body which has been given up to that repose and 
rest that is indispensable to the physical body. 
Whenever this trance state occurs it is because the 
spirit or soul of the sleeper, intent upon doing some- 
thing or other that requires the aid of the body, 
makes use of it in a manner analogous to that which 
spirits make use of a table, or other material objects, 
in producing the phenomena of physical manifesta- 
tions, or of a human hand, in giving written com- 
munications. In the dreams of which a man is con- 
scious, his organs, including those of memory, are 
beginning to awaken ; and, as they only receive and 
transmit to the spirit imperfectly the impressions 
made on them by exterior objects or action, the 
spirit, who is then in the state of repose, only per- 
ceives these impressions through confused and often 
disconnected sensations, which, in many cases, are 
still further confused by being mingled with vague 



180 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

remembrances of his present life and anterior ex- 
istences. It is easy, therefore, to understand why 
somnambulists do not remember their visions, and 
why the greater number of the dreams you remem- 
ber have no rational meaning. I say the greater 
number, for it sometimes happens that dreams are 
the consequence of a precise remembrance of events 
that have occurred in one of your former lives, or 
even a sort of intuition of the future. 

The only difference between hypnotic trance and 
state of death trance is that the hypnotic trance is 
produced artificially. The so-called magnetic fluid 
or hypnotic force is a vital auro or universal fluid 
and all conditions of clairvoyance, second sight, me- 
diumship, mind reading, somnambulism, etc., are 
pure soul sight. The reason why soul-sight or 
clairvoyance can see through opaque bodies is that 
opaque bodies only become such to the gross or phys- 
ical organs as matter is not an obstacle for the spirit 
of soul, for it can pass and see freely through it. 
A person who has soul-sight or clairvoyance may 
often tell you that he sees through his forehead or 
some part of his body, and you living a pure mate- 
rial existence may not understand that this clair- 
voyance or soul-sight is both independent and su- 
perior to the outward or physical organs of sight 
and the soul left to itself readily understands that 
it can see into every part of his own body or another 



SOUL EEINCAENATION". 181 

body, that is to say, that it can see its own body in- 
dependent of its own body. 

SOUL SIGHT 

Astral Spirits of low degree do not see and com- 
prehend everything, for, as you know, they still share 
their errors and their prejudices; and, in the next 
place, as long as they remain more or less attached 
to matter, they have not the use of all their spirit- 
faculties. God has given the faculty of clairvoyance 
to man for serious and useful purpose, and not to 
inform him of what it is not permitted for him to 
know; and this is why somnambulists do not know 
everything. 

You may wonder what is the source of the som- 
nambulist's innate ideas, and how can he speak cor- 
rectly of things of which he is ignorant in his wak- 
ing state, and which are even above his intellectual 
capacity ? 

A somnambulist may possess more knowledge 
than you give him credit for ; but this knowledge is 
latent in his waking state, because in his waking 
state he is not able to remember all he knows as a 
spirit. But, in point of fact, what is he? Like all 
of us, he is a spirit who has been incarnated in mat- 
ter for the accomplishment of his mission, and in 
going into the somnambulic state or death trance 
rouses him from the lethargy of incarnation. I have 



182 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

repeatedly told you that you live many times. It is 
changing of your existences that causes man to lose 
sight, in a new connection with matter, of what he 
may have known in a preceding one. On entering 
into this state, which in India is called a Soul Sight, 
he recalls what he has formerly known, but not al- 
ways with completeness. He knows, but he cannot 
tell whence he derives his knowledge, nor in what 
way he possesses it. The trance over, his reminis- 
cences fade from his consciousness, and he re-enters 
the obscurity of corporeal life. 

Experience shows that somnambulists also receive 
communications from other spirits, who tell them 
what they are to say, and supply them with what is 
lacking on their part. This supplementing of their 
insufficiency is often and especially witnessed in 
medical consultations; the spirit of the clairvoyant 
seeing the malady, and another spirit indicating the 
remedy required. This double action is often patent 
to bystanders, and is also frequently revealed by such 
expressions on the part of the somnambulist as, "I 
am told to say," or "I am forbidden to say," etc. 
In the latter case, it is always dangerous to persist 
in the effort to obtain a revelation refused by the 
clairvoyant, because, by doing so we open the door 
to frivolous and unscrupulous spirits, who prate 
about everything without any regard to veracity. 

The Human Soul transports itself during death 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 183 

trance the same as it does during sleep to a greater 
or less degree of somnambulic clairvoyancy, not de- 
pending so much upon the physical organization of 
an individual as the spiritual condition of a soul. 
Nevertheless there are certain physical qualities 
which allow the soul to separate itself more easily 
from the body. The Occult faculties enjoyed by the 
soul during the trance are the same as though in 
action and possessed by the soul or spirit after death, 
that is to say they are the same only up to a given 
point, for you must take into consideration the in- 
fluence of the physical body to which the soul is 
attached during earth life. The extent to which a 
person who is clairvoyant, can see disembodied spir- 
its depends on the nature and degree of their devel- 
opment. The greater number of them see other 
spirits perfectly well, but they do not always recog- 
nize them at once as being such, and thus mistake 
them for corporeal beings; a mistake that if often 
made by somnambulists, and especially by those 
among them who know nothing of spiritism. Not 
understanding anything of the essence of spirits, 
they are astonished at seeing them in human form, 
and suppose them to be living persons. 

The same effect is produced at the moment of 
death in the consciousness of those who suppose 
themselves to be still living. Nothing about them 
appears to them to be changed. The spirits around 



184 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

them seem to have bodies like theirs, and they take 
the appearance of their own body to be that of a real 
body of flesh. Whenever the soul propels the Astral 
Body away in space the somnambulist feels in his 
body the sensation of heat or cold of the place where 
the Astral Body has been propelled even though very 
far distant from his body. The reason of this is 
that his soul has not entirely quitted his body, to 
which it is still attached by the link which unites 
them together; it is this link that is the conductor 
of sensation. When two persons in two different 
cities correspond with each other by electricity, it 
is the electricity that constitutes the link between 
their thoughts and enables them to communicate 
with one another as though they were close together. 
The human soul which upon earth has been psychic 
or clairvoyant is greatly influenced by the use he 
has made of his powers while on earth. The same 
holds good with the good or bad use that is made 
of all the faculties that mankind is possessed of. The 
essential difference between deep sleep and the trance 
condition is that trance is a deeper state. It is then 
that the soul is more at liberty and independent of 
the body. The soul can now enter into high spirit- 
ual realms and communicate with the spirits dwell- 
ing there. There are also many times when a me- 
dium in a trance state expresses a desire to leave the 
physical body or to propel their Astral Body away 



SOUL EEINCAKNATION. 185 

in space. This desire is sincere and the request will 
depend upon the depth of the spirit's purification, for 
it is then in a condition to see whether its future ex- 
istence will be superior to its present life. If this 
is so the soul may make an effort to remain out of 
the body entirely. In this case death would take 
place and the only way to call the soul back into the 
body is to bring to his mind everything that will 
attract and attach him to earth life by making him 
see that if he remains out of the body he will make 
use of the most effectual means of preventing his 
remaining in a happy state in spirit life. Much care 
should be given to the information received by a per- 
son in the trance state for they may express what 
they have seen or heard in any language accom- 
modated to their prejudice or own individual ideas 
in which they have been brought up, thinking of 
course that will be better understood in this way; 
as they are most likely to make an error. Again of 
course they are very likely to be mistaken, especially 
when due effort is made to penetrate that which is to 
remain a mystery to man while he inhabits the body, 
and the very moment that he does this he becomes 
the prey and sport of evil designing and deceiving 
spirits who will take advantage of him, overwhelm- 
ing him with their false statements. Every person 
should study this phenomenon and they will find by 
deep and serious meditation, over the same, the solu- 



186 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

tion of more than one Occult Mystery which their 
physical senses have sought in vain to solve. The 
student who will study these things sincerely and 
justly, without prejudice or preconceived ideas, will 
be greatly benefited thereby. Second-sight is a 
Power which when once developed becomes perma- 
nent, that is to say, the faculty which gives the Oc- 
cult Power, becomes permanent. 

SECOND SIGHT 

Second-sight usually occurs spontaneously. The 
will nevertheless often plays an important part in 
producing this phenomenon. Take, for example, the 
persons who are called fortune tellers — and some 
of them really have that power — and you will find 
that action of their will helps them to this Second- 
Sight and to what you call vision. Clairvoyance or 
second-sight is susceptible of being developed by cer- 
tain Hindu Occult Exercises which will be given 
later on in this volume. Sincere effort and applica- 
tion always leads to progress in Occult Powers as in 
anything else and the veil that hides Occult and 
Spirit Mystery will readily become transparent to 
the sincere student. The reason why clairvoyancy 
is hereditary in certain people is because of the de- 
velopment of these faculties by application and edu- 
cation in those who have transmitted it from one 
generation to another. This applies to the Hindus 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 187 

more than to any other race of people. It is true that 
circumstances develop second-sight. Illness, the ap- 
proach of danger, any great commotion may develop 
it. The body is sometimes in a state which allows 
of the spirit's seeing what cannot be seen with the 
physical eye. In times of great excitement and of 
calamity, powerful emotions, all the causes, in short, 
which excite the soul may develop second-sight. It 
would seem as though Providence gave us when in 
the presence of danger, the means of escaping it. 
All creeds and all people subjected to persecution 
have offered numerous instances of this fact. Clair- 
voyants do, and can, give foreknowledge of future 
events; they may also give presentiments of great 
danger, for there are many degrees in this faculty, 
and the same person may possess all those degrees, 
as he may possess only some of them. The phe- 
nomena of natural somnambulism occur, spontane- 
ously, and independently of any known external 
cause; not only in persons endowed with a special 
organization or gift, for clairvoyancy may be pro- 
duced by any one having a knowledge of Eastern 
Occultism. The only difference between the state 
designated as self-induced somnambulism, and nat- 
ural somnambulism is, that the one is produced by 
development, while the other is spontaneous. 



188 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

NATURAL SOMNAMBULISM 

Natural somnambulism is a notorious fact, the 
reality of which few now dispute, notwithstanding 
the marvelous character of the phenomena it pre- 
sents. Why then, should self-induced somnambulism 
be regarded as more extraordinary or incredible, 
simply because it is produced by study and applica- 
tion like so many other things ? It has been abused 
by charlatans, some persons will reply ; but that fact 
only affords an additional reason for not leaving it in 
their hands. When science shall have taken posses- 
sion of it, charlatanism will have much less credit 
with the masses ; but, meanwhile, as somnambulism, 
both natural and artificial, is a fact, and as a fact 
cannot be argued down, it is making its way, despite 
the ill-will of its adversaries, and obtaining a footing 
even in the temple of western science, which it is 
entering by many side-doors, instead of entering by 
the principal one. Its right to be there, ere long, 
will be fully recognized. For somnambulism is more 
than a physical phenomenon ; it is a light thrown on 
the subject of psychology; it is a state in which you 
can study the soul, because the soul shows itself, so 
to say, without covering. Now, one of the phe- 
nomena which characterizes the soul is clear-seeing 
independently of the ordinary physical organs. 
Those who contest this fact do so on the ground 
that the somnambulist does not see at all times, at 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 189 

will of the skeptic, as with the eyes. Need we be 
astonished if the means employed being different, the 
methods are not the same? Is it reasonable to de- 
mand identical effects in cases in which the instru- 
ments employed are not the same? The soul has its 
properties just as has the eye; and the former must 
be judged of by themselves, and not by analogy with 
the latter. 

The case of the clairvoyant and of the natural 
somnambulist is identically the same ; it is an attrib- 
ute of the soul, a faculty inherent in every part of 
the incorporeal being which is in us, and has no 
other limits than those assigned to the soul itself. 
The somnambulist sees wherever his soul can trans- 
port itself, no matter what distance. In sight at dis- 
tance the somnambulist does not see from the point 
at which his body is, and as though through a tele- 
scope. The things he sees are present with him, as 
though he were at the place where they exist, be- 
cause his soul is there in reality; and it is for this 
reason that his body is, as it were, annihilated, and 
seems to be deprived of sensation, until the moment 
when the soul comes back and retakes possession of 
it. This partial separation of the soul and the body 
is an abnormal state, which may last for a longer or 
shorter time, but not indefinitely; it is the cause of 
the fatigue felt by the body after a certain lapse of 
time, especially when the soul, during that partial 



190 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

separation, busies itself in some active spiritual 
pursuit. The fact that soul-sight or spirit-sight is 
not circumscribed, and has no definite seat, explains 
why somnambulists are unable to assign to it any 
special organ or focus. They see, because they see, 
without knowing why or how; their sight, as spirit- 
sight having no special focus. If they refer their 
perception to their body, this focus seems to them to 
be in the organic centers in which the vital activity 
is greatest, especially in the brain, in the epigastric 
region, or in whatever organ appears to them to be 
the point at which the bond between the spirit and 
the body is most tenacious. The scope of somnam- 
bulic lucidity is not unlimited. A spirit, even when 
completely free, only possesses the faculties and the 
knowledge appertaining to the degree of advance- 
ment at which he has arrived, a limitation which 
becomes still further narrowed when he is united 
with matter, and thus subjected to its influence. 
This is the reason why somnambulic clairvoyance or 
soul sight is neither universal nor infallible; and its 
infallibility is all the less to be counted on when it 
is turned aside from the aim which has been assigned 
to it by nature, and made a mere matter of curiosity 
and experimentation. 

In the state of comparative freedom in which the 
somnambulist finds himself, he enters more easily 
into communication with other spirits, incarnate or 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 191 

disincarnate ; and this communication is established 
through the contact of the fluids which compose 
their perispirits, and serve, like the electric wire, for 
the transmission of thought. The somnambulist 
therefore has no need to articulate speech as a vehicle 
of thought, which he feels and divines; as a mode 
of perception that renders him eminently accessible 
to, and impressionable by, the influences of the moral 
atmosphere in which he finds himself. For the same 
reason, a numerous concourse of spectators, and es- 
pecially of those who are attracted by a more or 
less malevolent curiosity, is essentially unfavorable 
to the manifestations of his peculiar faculties, which 
close up, so to say, at the contact of hostile influ- 
ences, and only unfold freely in intimacy, and under 
the influence of sympathetic surroundings. The 
presence of those who are malevolent or antipathetic 
produces upon him the effect of the contact of the 
hand upon a sensitive plant. The somnambulist 
sees, at the same time, his own spirit and his body; 
they are, so to say, two beings which represent to 
him his double existence, spiritual and corporeal, and 
which nevertheless, are blended into one by the tie: 
which unite them together. The somnambulist does 
not always comprehend this duality, which often 
leads him to speak of himself as though he were 
speaking of another person; in such cases, the cor- 
poreal being sometimes speaking to the spiritual 



1$2 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

being, and the spiritual being sometimes speaking to 
the corporeal being. The spirit acquires an increase 
of knowledge and experience in each of his corporeal 
existences. It loses sight of these gains during its 
reincarnation in matter which is too gross to allow 
of its remembering them in their former state; but 
it remembers them as a spirit. It is thus that some 
somnambulists give evidence of possessing knowl- 
edge beyond their present degree of instruction, and 
even of their apparent intellectual capacity. The in- 
tellectual and scientific inferiority of a somnambulist 
in his waking state, therefore, proves nothing 
against his possession of the knowledge he may dis- 
play in his lucid state. According to the circum- 
stances of the moment and the aim proposed, he may 
draw this knowledge from the stores of his own ex- 
perience, from his clairvoyant perception of things 
actually occurring, or from the counsels which he 
receives from other spirits ; but, in proportion as his 
own spirit is more or less advanced, he will make 
his statements more or less correctly. 

PHENOMENA OF SOMNAMBULISM 

In the phenomena of somnambulism, whether nat- 
ural or self-induced, Providence furnishes us with 
undeniable proof of the existence and independence 
of the soul, by causing us to witness the sublime 
spectacle of its emancipation from the fetters of the 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 193 

body, and thus enabling us to read our future destiny 
as in an open book. When a somnambulist describes 
what is taking place at a distance, it is equally evi- 
dent that he sees what he describes, and that he does 
not see it with his bodily eyes. He sees himself at 
that distant point, and he feels himself to be trans- 
ported thither. Something of himself, therefore, is 
really present at that distant point; and that some- 
thing, not being his body, can only be his soul or 
his spirit. While man, in search of the causes of his 
moral being, loses himself in abstract and unintel- 
ligible metaphysical subtleties, God places daily be- 
fore his eyes, and within reach of his hand, the sim- 
plest and most certain means for the study of experi- 
mental psychology. 

Trance is the state in which the soul's independ- 
ence of the body is made most clearly visible, and, so 
to say, palpable, to the senses of the observer. In 
dreaming and somnambulism, the soul wanders- 
among terrestrial worlds ; in trance, it penetrates into 
a sphere of existence of another order, into that of 
the etherealized spirits with whom it enters into com- 
munication, without, however, being able to over- 
step certain limits which it could not pass without 
entirely breaking the links that attach it to the body. 
Surrounded by novel splendors, enraptured by har- 
monies unknown to earth, penetrated by bliss that 
defies description, the soul enjoys a foretaste of 

13 



194 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

celestial beatitude, and may be said to have placed 
one foot on the threshold of eternity. 

In the state of trance, the annihilation of cor- 
poreal ties is almost complete. The body no longer 
possesses anything more than organic life; and we 
feel that the soul is only held thereto by a single 
thread, which any further effort on its part would 
break forever. 

In this state all earthly ties disappear, and give 
place to the purified perception that is the very as- 
sence of our immaterial being. Entirely absorbed 
in this sublime contemplation, the ecstatic regards 
the earthly life as being merely a momentary halt 
upon our eternal way ; the successes and misfortunes 
of this lower world, its gross joys and sorrows, ap- 
pear to him only as the futile incidents of a journey 
of which he is delighted to foresee the end. 

It is with the ecstatic as with somnambulists; 
their lucidity may be more or less perfect, and their 
spirit, according as it is more or less elevated, is also 
more or less apt to apprehend the truth of things. 
In their abnormal state, there is sometimes more 
of nervous excitement than of true lucidity; or, to 
speak more correctly, their nervous excitement, im- 
pairs their lucidity and, for this reason, their revela- 
tions are often a mixture of truths and errors, of 
sublime ideas and absurd or even ridiculous fancies. 
Inferior spirits often take advantage of this nervous 



SOUL EEINCARNATION. 195 

excitement (which is always a source of weakness to 
those who are unable to control it), in order to sub- 
jugate the ecstatic, and to this end they assume to 
his eyes the appearances which confirm him in the 
ideas and prejudices of his waking state. This sub- 
jugation of clairvoyants by the presentation of false 
appearances is the "rock ahead" of this order of 
revealment. But all of them are not equally subject 
to this dangerous misleading; and it is for us to 
weigh their statements coolly and carefully, and to 
judge their revelations by the light of science and of 
reason. 

EMANCIPATION OF THE SOUL 

The emancipation of the soul occurs sometimes in 
the waking state, and gives to those who are en- 
dowed with the faculty designated by the name of 
second-sight, the power of seeing, hearing and feel- 
ing, beyond the limits of the bodily senses. They 
perceive things at a distance at all points to which 
their soul extends its action; they see them, so to 
say, athwart their ordinary sight, and as though in a 
sort of mirage. 

At the moment when the phenomenon of second- 
sight occurs, the physical state of the seer is visibly 
modified. His glance becomes vague; he looks be- 
fore him without seeing; his physiognomy reflects 
an abnormal state of the nervous system. It is evi- 



196 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

dent that his organs of sight have nothing to do 
with his present perceptions; for his vision contin- 
ues, even when his eyes are shut. 

The faculty of second-sight appears to those who 
are endowed with it to be as natural as ordinary 
sight. It seems to them to be an attribute of their 
being; and they are not aware of its exceptional 
character. They generally forget this fugitive lucid- 
ity, the remembrance of which, becoming more and 
more vague, disappears at length from their mem- 
ory like a dream. 

The power of second-sight varies from a confused 
sensation to a clear and distinct perception of things 
present or distant. In its rudimentary state, it gives 
to some persons tact, perspicacity, a sort of sure- 
ness, in their decisions and actions, that may be 
styled the rectitude of the moral glance. At a higher 
degree of development, it awakens presentiments; 
still further developed, it shows to the Seer and 
Adept events that have already happened, or that are 
about to happen. 

Natural and artificial somnambulism, trance and 
second-sight are only varieties or modifications of 
the action of one and the same cause. Like dreams, 
they are a branch of natural phenomena and have 
therefore existed in every age. History shows us 
that they have been known, and even abused, from 
the remotest antiquity; and they furnish the ex- 



SOUL KEINCABNATION. 197 

planation of innumerable facts which superstitious 
prejudices have led men to regard as supernatural. 

ASTRAL SPIRITS 

Astral Spirits take up very little time in trans- 
porting themselves through space from one point or 
place to another, as their motion is as rapid as that 
of thought, and really their thought is wherever 
their soul is, since it is the soul that thinks, and 
thought is a part of the soul. A spirit can travel in 
either way. It can if it will, take cognizance of the 
distance it passes through or it can rid itself entirely 
of the sense of distance. This, of course, depends 
upon the spirit's will and also upon the degree of 
development. Spirits can also pass through every- 
thing — space, air, earth, water and even fire are 
equally accessible to them. There is no division of 
any given spirit, but every spirit is a center which 
radiates in all directions and it is thus that a spirit 
may appear to be in every place at once. The sun 
is only one body, yet it radiates in all directions and 
sends out its rays to great distance, but it is not di- 
vided. Of course, it must be remembered that there 
is a great difference between spirits in this respect. 
It depends upon the degree of their purity. Every 
spirit dwelling upon the Astral Plane and in other 
spirit realms is an indivisible unity, but each spirit 
has the power of extending his thoughts on all sides 



198 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

without thereby dividing himself, and it is only in 
this sense that the spirit of ubiquity, attributed to 
spirits, is to be understood. It is thus that a spark 
sends out its brightness far and wide and may be 
perceived from every point of the horizon. It is 
thus also that a man can, without changing his place, 
and without dividing himself, transmit orders, sig- 
nals, etc., to many different points in many differ- 
ent directions. Astral Spirits are enveloped in an 
auro, which is a substance which would at first ap- 
pear to the clairvoyant as a mere vapor, but which, 
nevertheless, appears very gross to the Adept, 
though it is sufficiently vaporous to allow the spirit 
to float in the atmosphere and to transport himself 
through space at pleasure. Spirits draw this semi- 
material body from the universe of fluid of the 
globe, and for this reason a peri-spirit is not the 
same on all planets, for in passing from planet to 
planet, the spirit changes its Astral Body as you 
would change a garment, but when spirits who in- 
habit realms of high degree come among us upon 
the Earth Plane they are obliged to take on grosser 
conditions. That is to say, they are obliged to 
clothe themselves with certain auros in order to 
enter upon the Earth Plane. This auro or sub- 
stance can be made to assume any form that the 
spirit may choose to give it. A spirit is able at any 
time to make himself invisible to you whether in 



SOUL REINCAENATION. 199 

dreams or in a clairvoyant state, or he can take unto 
himself any form that may be visible and even 
palpable to your senses, or one that is repulsive and 
will greatly alarm you. Spirits have fixed degrees 
of purification. The number of these degrees is 
unlimited because there is nothing like a barrier or 
line of demarkation between the degrees of elevation 
of the human soul. Nevertheless in determining the 
general characteristics of spirits, they may be re- 
duced to three principal orders or degrees. In the 
first degree or rank are those who have reached a 
degree of relative perfection which constitutes what 
may be termed pure intelligence. In the second rank 
are those who have reached the middle of the ascen- 
sional ladder or those who have achieved the degree 
of purification in which aspiration after perfection 
has become the ruling desire. In the third or lowest 
rank and caste are all those imperfect spirits who are 
really earth bound, and evily disposed toward man- 
kind, and are characterized by ignorance, their love 
of evil and all the low passions that retard the 
progress of the human soul. Spirits of the second 
degree have great desire for aspiration and perfec- 
tion, and the desire to do so is given them in degrees 
proportionate to the degree of purification at which 
they have arrived. Many of them are distinguished 
by their scientific knowledge, others by their wis- 



200 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

dom and kindness, but all of them have still to un- 
dergo discipline, trial, temptation and suffering. 

SPIRITS OF THE THIRD CLASS 

Among spirits of the third class there are some who 
are inactive and neutral, not doing either good or 
evil. Others, on the contrary, take pleasure in evil 
and are delighted when they find an opportunity of 
tormenting men who are doing wrong. Others, 
again, are frivolous, foolish, fantastic and mis- 
chievous rather than wicked, and tricky rather than 
positively malicious, amusing themselves by mysti- 
fying the human being on whom they are able to act, 
causing them various petty annoyances for their 
own diversion. They are inclined to evil and make 
it the object of all their thought and activities. As 
evil spirits, they give to men perfidious counsel, stir 
up discord and discontent and assume every sort of 
mask in order to more effectually deceive the souls 
in the body, besetting those whose character is weak 
enough to yield to their suggestions and who they 
can draw aside from the path of happiness, rejoic- 
ing when they are able to retard their advancement 
by causing them to succumb under the appointed 
trials of Earth Life. Evil spirits are always revealed 
by their communications for every spirit who in 
his communication betrays an evil intention may be 
relegated to the lower order, and every evil thought 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 201 

suggested to our mind comes from spirits of this 
order. They see the happiness enjoyed by good 
spirits and this sight causes them perpetual torment 
and they experience all the agonies produced by envy 
and jealousy. They also preserve the remembrance 
and perfection of the suffering of earth life and this 
impression is often more painful than the reality, 
and they suffer both, in fact, from the ills they 
have thus endured and from those which they have 
caused to be endured by others, and as these suffer- 
ings endure for a long time they believe themselves 
to be destined to suffer forever, and God, for their 
punishment wills that they should believe this, and 
as written above, spirits of this order may be recog- 
nized by their language for the trivial expressions of 
spirits as by men is always an indication of moral if 
not intellectual inferiority, and their communication 
through mediums or certain unsophisticated clair- 
voyants show the baseness of their intentions, 
though they may try to impose upon the medium 
by speaking with an appearance of reason and pro- 
priety they are able to keep up this false appear- 
ance and end by betraying their real quality. These 
spirits are addicted to all vice engendered by vile 
and degrading passions, sensuality, cruelty, hypoc- 
risy, etc. They commit evil for its own cause and 
are devilish without any definite motive, and form 
a hatred for all that is good, and generally choose 



202 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

their victim from among honest and worthy medi- 
ums who have no knowledge of their powers or ex- 
istence. In plain words, they are a test of humanity, 
being ignorant, mischievous, and addicted to mock- 
ing them loudly in everything and replying to their 
questions without paying any attention to the truth. 
They delight in causing petty annoyances, raise 
false hopes in petty joys, in misleading clairvoyants 
and people in mystifications and trickery, and these 
evil spirits have vulgarly been called devils, etc. In 
their communications through mediums their lan- 
guage is sometimes witty and fatuous, and they are 
quick to grasp absurdities of man, and things on 
which they comment with sarcastic sharpness. They 
will borrow distinguished names and are fond of do- 
ing it because by this means they can deceive man- 
kind. Again their knowledge is often considerable, 
but they imagine themselves to know considerably 
more than they really do, for having made a certain 
amount of progress from various points of view, 
their language has an air of gravity that may easily 
give a false impression as to their capacities and en- 
lightenment, but their ideas are generally nothing 
more than the reflections of the prejudice and false 
reasoning of their earth life, their statements often 
containing a mixture of truths and absurdities in 
the midst of which traces of presumption, pride, 
jealousy and obstinancy from which they have not 



SOUL KEINCABNATION. 203 

yet freed themselves are plainly active and percept- 
ible. Again, they are not sufficiently advanced to 
take any part in doing good, nor are some of them 
bad enough to be active in committing evil, for they 
incline sometimes to the one and sometimes to the 
other, never raising above the ordinary level of the 
earth bound spirits, either in point of morality or 
of intelligence and are strongly attached to things of 
the Earth Plane, whose gross satisfaction they re- 
gret. There are also noisy and boisterous spirits 
who do not, strictly speaking, form a distinct class 
in virtue and their personal qualities, as they may 
belong to all classes of the third order, and often 
manifest their presence by production of phenomena 
perceptible to the senses, such as raps, the move- 
ment and displacing of abnormal bodies, the agita- 
tion of the air, etc., which among the Hindus is 
termed "Objective Change." Spirits of this nature 
are more evil than any other class or grade of spir- 
its. They are the particular agents in determining 
the vicissitudes of the elements of the earth. They 
approach the air, water, fire and the various bodies 
in the entrails of the earth, and when these bodies 
present certain phenomena of character and intention 
and intelligence, this phenomena should not be at- 
tributed to a mere fortuitous and physical cause as 
all spirits are able to produce physical phenomena 
or objective change. Spirits of an elevated degree 



201 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

easily leave this phenomena to those of the lower 
order, who are more apt for action upon matter than 
things of intelligence, when they judge it to be use- 
ful to produce physical manifestations such as death 
raps, thundering noises around the bed and in the 
room of a person whose time of death has already 
been fixed. Spirits of this grade are employed for 
this work and while there are many wise people, so- 
called, who are skeptic in regard to the death raps, 
warnings, etc., there is absolutely no question of 
these phenomena as no human soul has ever left the 
physical body without the writing having appeared 
somewhere at some time and in some place upon 
the wall or, in other words, there has been a warn- 
ing of their death sent and given by these spirits; 
but if we are too busy or too ignorant to know these 
things when they come, the fault is our own. 

Predominance of the spirits of the second de- 
gree over matter ; their desire of excellence and their 
qualities and their power for good are proportionate 
to the degree at which they have arrived. Some of 
them possess scientific knowledge, others have ac- 
quired wisdom and charity; the more advanced 
among them combine knowledge with moral excel- 
lences. Not being yet completely dematerialized, 
they perceive the traces of their corporeal existence, 
more or less strongly marked, according to their 
rank — traces of which are seen either in their mode 



SOUL EEINCABNATION. 205 

of expressing* themselves, in their habits, or even 
in some cases in the characteristic eccentricities and 
hobbies still retained by them, and but for these 
weaknesses and imperfections they would be able to 
pass into the category of spirits of the first order. 

They have acquired the comprehension of the idea 
of God and of infinity, and already share the felicity 
of the higher spheres. They find their happiness 
both in the accomplishment of good and in the pre- 
vention of evil. The affection by which they are 
united affords them ineffable delight, troubled nei- 
ther by envy, remorse nor any other of the evil pas- 
sions which make the torment of spirits of lower 
degree; but they have still to undergo the discipline 
of trial until they have completed the work of their 
purification. As spirits, they infuse good and noble 
thoughts into the minds of men, turn them from the 
paths of evil, protect those whose course of life ren- 
ders them worthy of their aid, and neutralize by 
their suggestions the influence of lower spirits on 
the minds of those who do not willingly yield to the 
evil counsels of the latter. 

The human beings in whom they are incarnated 
are upright and benevolent ; they are actuated neither 
by pride, selfishness, nor ambition ; they feel neither 
hatred, rancour, envy, nor jealousy, and do good for 
its own sake. To this order belongs the spirit com- 
monly designated in the popular beliefs by the names 



206 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

of good genu, protecting genu, good spirits. In 
periods of ignorance and superstition men have re- 
garded them as beneficent divinities. 



208 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 



"THE HINDU ADEPTS." 

We recognize alone, in the unreal, 
That Astral power exists, 

All matter is at strife, 
And all material things at war with life, 
So, quite discarding interest in these, 
Abandoning the Held to those who please, 
What we call (C Spirit Power" seek we to attain, 
And scourge the flesh with all its fancies vain. 

— Dr. de Laurence. 



CHAPTER X. 

BENEVOLENT SPIRITS 

The dominant quality of benevolent spirits is 
kindness. They take pleasure in rendering ^services 
to men and in protecting them, but their knowledge 
is somewhat limited as they have progressed in mor- 
ality rather than in intelligence and learned spirits 
are especially distinguished by the extent of their- 
knowledge. They are less interested in moral ques- 
tions than in scientific investigations, for which 
they have a greater aptitude. Their spiritual studies 
are always prosecuted with a view of practical util- 
ity, and they are entirely free from the base pas- 
sions common to spirits of lower degree of advance- 
ment. The wise spirits are those whose elevated 
morals calls for very distinctive characteristics with- 
out having arrived at the position of unlimited 
knowledge. They have reached the development of 
intellectual capacity which enables them to judge ac- 
cordingly of man and of things. High Caste spirits 
are those who unite in the very highest degree of 
scientific knowledge. Their impression and com- 
munications are all surpassed only by the pure be- 

14 



210 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

nevolence which is always noble and elevated, often 
sublime, as their superiority renders them more apt 
than any others to impart to the medium and those 
whom they care to impress just and true ideas in 
relation to the incorporeal world within the limits 
of the knowledge permitted to mankind. They 
willingly enter into spirit communication with good 
mediums and those who seek them truly in simplic- 
ity and sincerity, and who are sufficiently freed 
from the point of sensuality and materialism to be 
capable of understanding them, but they turn from 
those whose inquiries are prompted only by curios- 
ity, or who will be drawn away from rectitude by 
the evil attractions of material things, and when 
under exceptional circumstances they incarnate 
themselves in the physical body, it is always for the 
accomplishment of a mission of progress, and they 
thus show us the highest type of perfection to which 
we can inspire in the present world. 

INFLUENCE AND SIGHT OF SPIRITS 

Spirits are able to penetrate the innermost 
thoughts of mankind if they choose, as they are con- 
tinually around him, but no disembodied spirit sees 
only those things to which it directly gives its atten- 
tion and pays no heed whatever to those things that 
do not interest it. Owing to the fact of their being 
able to read our most secret thoughts they often see 



SOUL REINCAENATION. 211 

and find out many things that we would desire 
really to hide from ourselves, and it will be seen that 
it is far more easy to conceal a secret or hide a fact 
from a person living than to conceal it from the 
same person after death. Many an individual has 
fancied himself entirely alone and hidden from every 
eye, but at the same time he is surrounded by a 
crowd of spirits who can watch his every move and 
learn his most secret thought if they desire. Evily 
disposed spirits enjoy the little annoyances that come 
to mankind and laugh and amuse themselves at his 
impatience or anger. The higher grade of spirits 
pity mankind for his imperfections and shortcom- 
ings, and endeavor to aid and cure him of them. 
Many have asked, "Do spirits influence the thoughts 
and actions of mankind?' 5 They do beyond any 
peradventure of a doubt, and this influence upon 
your thoughts and actions is far greater than you 
suppose it to be, as spirits very often attract and 
control mankind. There are times when man has 
thoughts that originate with himself, and others that 
are suggested by disembodied spirits, for you must 
remember that your soul is a spirit, and you have 
also observed that many thoughts, and frequently 
very opposite ones comes into your mind, referring 
to the same matter, but at the same time. In cases 
of this kind some of these thoughts and ideas are 
your own, some belong to the spirits themselves and 



212 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

are the cause of your uncertainties, because you 
have thoughts in your mind that have different 
origins and are consequently opposed to each other. 
The way and manner of distinguishing between 
thoughts that belong to you and come from yourself 
directly, and those which are transmitted to you by 
spirits is as follows: those thoughts which come 
to you first are usually your own, but when a 
thought comes to you like a voice speaking unto you, 
it comes from a disembodied spirit. In point of fact 
this distinction is of practical importance, especially 
if the impressions that are about to be given you 
come from the spirits who are good advisers. In 
consequence of the above, you will see that man is 
not left to his own freedom even in regard to his 
innermost thoughts in life. Men of great genius 
and intelligence do not always draw their ideas from 
their own minds. It is true their ideas sometimes 
come from their own souls, but they are more often 
transmitted to them by the spirits of the Astral 
Plane, whenever they are thought capable of receiv- 
ing and understanding them and being worthy of 
the knowledge transmitted to them. There are times 
when an individual will not be able to find the idea 
or thought that he seeks in himself, and if he will 
make an appeal for inspiration or an evocation, he 
will receive assistance. It should, of course, be re- 
membered that every person is not able to distin- 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 213 

guish clearly between their own thoughts and those 
which are transmitted to them by spirits. If this 
were best, of course, the power to do so would have 
been given to every one, as they have been given the 
power to distinguish between day and night, but 
when any matter has been left by the Creator for an 
individual in a state of vagueness, it has been left 
so because it is better for him. As stated before, our 
first thoughts are usually our own. The ideas and 
thoughts transmitted from the spirits upon the 
Astral Plane may be good or bad, owing to 
the nature of the spirit, but every person should 
at all times close the door of their souls 
to bad impressions. They should also study 
the quality of the thoughts and impressions transmit- 
ted to them, for good spirits give only wise counsel, 
and it is for us to be able to distinguish between 
good and bad. The reason why evilly disposed 
spirits desire to prompt and excite us to evil actions 
is, because they desire that we suffer the same as they 
do themselves, because a disembodied spirit is 
possessed of envy and jealousy of any person who is 
happier and more pure than they are themselves. 
Evilly disposed spirits are used as the instruments of 
God to test man's faith and constancy for well doing, 
and the human soul must advance in knowledge of 
God and it is for this purpose and end that it is 
forced to pass through the trials and tests of evil in 



214 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

order to attain goodness. The mission of the good 
spirits who dwell in Spirit Life are the same as those 
of a good man or woman upon the earth plane, that 
is to lead and direct you in the right path. The soul 
of man is like a magnet, that is to say, that it will 
attract what it desires, for like always attracts like. 
Any person who is influenced or acted upon by an 
evil spirit has attracted these spirits to himself by his 
evil desires, as evil spirits will always come to aid 
you in doing evil and performing anything that is 
bad. They can assist you in doing wrong and will 
prompt you to wrong whenever you give way to 
your evil desires. If a man is a murderer or a thief 
in his heart he will attract to himself and there will 
surround him, many evilly disposed spirits who were 
murderers and thieves themselves and they will ac- 
tuate the desire to murder and keep it active within 
his soul. On the other hand, there will be good 
spirits and they will try to influence you for good 
and this will restore you to your balance and make 
you able to master yourself if you are inclined to 
listen to their impressions. It is thus that man has 
been left to his own conscience and to choose the 
path and road he desires or decides to follow. He 
has the liberty and free will of yielding to one in- 
fluence or the other, as both of these opposing in- 
fluences act upon the soul of every man. Conse- 
quently, it is well for you to remember that you can 



SOUL EEINCAKNATION. 215 

only detach yourself from evil spirits by setting 
yourself and your soul against evil thoughts and 
desires, because evil spirits whose influences and im- 
pressions are repelled by your will and soul, are 
forced to remove their temptations, for as soon as 
they see that they cannot accomplish their aim they 
give up the attempt, but are ever watching to con- 
tinue at the first possible moment, the same as a 
hawk will watch its prey,; and it is only by doing 
what is right and putting all of your trust in God 
that you are able to repel the influence of evil spirits 
and prevent them from obtaining power and control 
over you. You should be ever careful not to listen 
to the impressions of spirits who are inclined to in- 
spire you with evil thoughts or desires or they would 
stir up discord in you and excite you to evil passions. 
Set yourself against those spirits who would flatter 
you and make you vain and proud, for in doing so 
they attack mankind on his weakest side. This is 
why you have been taught to pray thus, "Let us not 
succumb to temptation but deliver us from evil." 

SPIRITS OF EVIL INFLUENCE 

The spirits who influence and incline us to evil by 
putting our firmness into rectitude have not received 
a mission to do so, and they themselves are respon- 
sible for this evil and wrongdoing of this mission, 
for no soul or spirit has ever received a mission from 



216 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

the Almighty to commit evil, and when it does it of 
its own free will and inclination, and therefore has 
got to answer the consequences of its wrong doing. 
Man may take the way and path of evil but he does 
not do it because he has been commanded to do it. 
It is for him to repel and not attract evil unto him- 
self, and I will say to you again that it is a great 
universal and immutable law, "that like attracts 
like," and he who maintains and entertains an evil 
condition of mind will attract evil influences (Spirits) 
to him, consequently the fault is all his own. When- 
ever the human soul feels a vague anxiety or nervous 
undefinable sensation, or a condition of entire con- 
tent and satisfaction without any visible assign- 
able cause these sensations and conditions do not 
proceed from any physical or material source, 
as they are the direct result of the com- 
munication and influences received from dis- 
embodied spirits or that we have received 
during sleep or deep meditation. Whenever spirits 
desire to excite us to evil they can take advantage of 
the condition in which they find us, or they them- 
selves, if we let our souls open to them can bring 
about circumstances and conditions which are favor- 
able to their designs. However, they are ever ready 
to take advantage of an occurrence or any favorable 
circumstances. They bring the same about by in- 
fluencing or urging you, without your being aware 



SOUL KEINCAENATION. 217 

of it, toward the object of your unwise desire. As 
an illustration, you may find an amount of money 
on the street. You should not be foolish enough to 
imagine that disembodied spirits placed this amount 
on the street for you, but they may have suggested to 
you the idea of going that way and when you have 
picked up the money they can transmit to you the 
idea of keeping it in your possession without making 
any effort of finding the rightful owner. A good 
spirit will suggest to you that it would be right to 
restore it to its rightful owner, and it is thus with 
all of the temptations of life. 

The writer has been often asked, is it possible for 
a disembodied spirit to for a time, enter the body of 
a living person? That is to say, can he incarnate 
himself into an animate body and act in a certain 
place in the place of the soul incarnated in it. A dis- 
embodied spirit does not enter into the body of an- 
other, but it can assimilate itself with the soul of an- 
other who has the same defects and the same qualities 
as itself, and influence him to do as he pleases. No 
spirit can substitute itself in the place of a soul who 
is existing, is a physical body, for a soul is indissolv- 
ably united with its body until the time of death. 
An individual may become possessed, dominated, 
subjugated and obsessed by a disembodied spirit 
to such an extent that the will is entirely subdued, 
and it is this which really constitutes the term obses- 



218 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

sion, but this domination and control is never estab- 
lished without the participation of the soul who is 
subjected to it either through its weakness or own 
free will, and the real condition that brings the 
human soul under the control and power of an evil 
spirit despite its resistance, is the result of its own 
wrong doing. There are many cases of insanity 
that are not the result and work of evil spirits. These 
cases of course do not need the assistance of the ex- 
orciser. The word obsession in its common ac- 
ceptation presupposes the existence of demons or 
devils of the category of evil beings and a nature 
essentially bad, and the cohabitation of one of these 
beings with a soul of a man in the body of the latter. 
The truth is that there are no such beings as demons 
in the sense above defined, and since two spirits can- 
not at the same time inhabit the same body there is 
no such a thing as possession in the sense commonly 
attributed to that word, and the word obsession or 
possessed can only be explained as expressing a state 
of soul subjugation to which the soul in the body 
may be reduced by the evil spirits under whose in- 
fluence and domain it has fallen. It is very difficult 
for a soul that has been obsessed to free itself or 
drive away an evil spirit and it is only through stead- 
fastness and firmness and a decided resolve to do so 
that a person is able to escape from these evil influen- 
ces. Where this influence and fascination exer- 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 219 

cised by an evil spirit is so complete that the person 
subjugated should be unable to rid himself of it, it is 
necessary for a third person to end the control, and 
the following course should be taken. An upright 
man or priest should be procured, who by attracting 
the co-operation of good spirits in the work of de- 
liverance of the subjected soul, will be able to free it 
of bad spirits, for the more upright a man is, the 
more power he possesses both over evil spirits to 
drive them away and over good ones to attract them 
and bring them to his assistance. However, the best 
Adept in these matters will be perfectly powerless 
unless the obsessed person inclines himself to the 
efforts made in his behalf, and it should be remem- 
bered that there are many persons who take delight 
in the state of dependence which panders to de- 
praved tastes and desires and in no case can one who 
is powerful in a spiritual way exercise a liberating 
influence, for, unless the person affected sincerely 
desires to be assisted, he would be despised by good 
spirits and they would refuse to assist him, while the 
bad ones stand in no alarm of him. There are many 
formulas and receipts given by the unlearned in true 
Occultism for Exorcism over bad spirits. Many of 
these formulas and ceremonies do no good, for when 
bad spirits see anyone foolishly endeavoring to get 
rid of them by such means they laugh at them and 
grow only the stronger in their obsession. When- 



220 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

ever a person becomes obsessed and their intentions 
are good it is best for them to tire out the patience of 
evil spirits by taking no heed of their suggestions, 
by showing them that they are simply wasting their 
time and as soon as they can see that they are not 
going to accomplish anything they will quickly leave. 
Deep and serious prayer is always an effective means 
of obtaining help, but it must be remembered that the 
chanting or saying of certain words will have no 
effect in obtaining what you desire, and no man can 
be helped unless he is inclined to help himself. It 
is therefore necessary to use prayer, and the person 
possessed must do so to cure himself first of his evil 
thoughts and defects which first attracted evil spirits 
to him. This in connection with the Occult Powers 
of a true Adept in Art Magic will give them relief. 



SOUL EEINCARNATION. 221 



"INDIA'S idols:' 

The idols are not worshiped, but fulfill 

A part in representing to the mind 

The great idea, which is but enshrined 

Within the heart, though dimly. He who bows 

In India to an idol, will arouse 

And tell you: 

"Him the sun cannot repress, 
Nor moon, nor stars, nor lightning can express, 
Nor fire explain; they through Him only shine. 
While all that live, exist through Him divine" — 
Though undeveloped intellect may screen 
The far idea, by the image seen. 
In this America my eyes have viewed 
Some acts which might be equally construed: 
To bow before a picture, statue, saint, 
Excites in Christian Churches no restraint, 
And I perceive no difference, unless 
In this: less beauty and less comeliness 
And less attractiveness, to chain the heart 
Have India's idols, than their counterpart. 
The very argument, as urged to me 
In free America, is India's plea. 
Buddhist, Brahman, and Hindoo adduce 
The image merely serves to reproduce 



222 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

The great idea, which, though not de-fined, 
Has yet to every phase some form assigned. 
The Christians raise to saints memorial shrines, 
And loved relations; where, then, draw the lines? 
If Hindus to their Saints due honors use, 
Which shall be blamed, and who shall dare accuse? 
While Mussulmen, who so from idols shrink 
When others bow, what shall those others think 
Of Mecca's black, unshapen stone, and tomb? 
And what, zvhen to their consciousness there loom 
The thousands who before Mahomet's name 
Fall and adore? 

Are not these acts the same? 
Mahomet, who was man, nor greatness earned, 
Above Confucius, or Gautama learned. 
Gautama Buddh his followers forbid 
To search the realms, where mystery is hid, 
Where origin unfolds itself complete, 
Since this involves inquiry indiscreet, 
And questioning of God. 

But 'tis comprised 
In Sanscrit literature, and clear advised 
By Constitution of the Cosmos' tried, 
Symbolical expressions set aside, 
What previous Hierophants confirmed, 
Is now by "modern thinkers reaffirmed; 
The precept old, is of new thought the kernel — 
That Spirit and that life are eternal. 
The written word of India's ancient minds, 
The present to the past securely binds, 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 223 

While recent sciences, and theory, 

Advance conclusions in philosophy, 

Like echoes sounding from the Orient, 

Reverberating to the Occident. 

Thus thought, revolving like the circling earth, 

Completes an era, and attains new birth. 

— Dr. de Laurence. 



CHAPTER XL 

CASTING OUT EVIL SPIRITS 

Many people speak of casting out devils or 
demons. The truth of this saying depends upon the 
meaning you attach to the words devils or demons. 
If you mean by that term a bad spirit who subju- 
gates a human being, it is evident that, when his 
influence is destroyed, he will really be driven away. 
If you attribute a malady to the devil, you may say, 
when you have cured the malady, that you have 
driven the devil away. This statement may be true 
or false, according to the meaning attributed to cer- 
tain words. The most weighty truths may appear 
absurd when you look only at the form under which 
they are presented and when an allegory is taken for 
a fact. Get this principle well into your mind, and 
keep it there, for it is of universal application. Spir- 
its play a very important part in that phenomena 
exhibited by certain individuals designated under the 
name of convulsionaries, as does also the agent that 
the Hindu calls Astral Fluid, whether employed by 
human beings or by spirits; for this agent is the 
original source of those phenomena. But charlatans 



226 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

have often exaggerated these effects and made thetn 
a matter of speculation, which has brought them into 
ridicule. The nature of the spirits who help produce 
this phenomena are those of very slight elevation, for 
no spirit of high degree will be guilty of committing 
these acts. Whole populations may be suddenly 
thrown into the abnormal state of convulsions 
through sympathy. Moral dispositions are also ex- 
ceedingly contagious, for you are not so ignorant of 
the effects of human magnetism and Astral 
Fluid as not to understand this, and also 
the part that certain spirits would natur- 
ally take in such occurrences through sympathy 
with those by whom they are produced. Among the 
strange peculiarities remarked in convulsionaries sev- 
eral are evidently identical with those of which som- 
nambulism, mingled with Astral Fluid, offer numer- 
ous examples, viz., physical insensibility, thought 
reading, sympathetic transmission of sensations, etc. 
It is waking somnambulism, determined by the in- 
fluence which they unwittingly exerci'se upon each 
other. They are at once mesmerizers and mesmer- 
ized unconsciously to themselves. 

The cause of the physical insensibility sometimes 
remarked in convulsionaries, and sometimes also in 
other persons when subjected to the most atrocious 
tortures, is in some cases simply an effect of human 
magnetism, which acts upon the nervous system in 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 227 

the same manner as do certain substances. In other 
cases mental excitement deadens the sensibility of 
the organism, the center of consciousness retiring 
from the body in order to concentrate itself in the 
spirit. Have you not observed that, when the soul 
is intensely occupied with any matter, the body 
neither feels, nor sees, nor hears. The excitement 
of fanaticism and enthusiasm offer, on the part of 
persons subjected to a violent death, examples of a 
calmness and coolness that could hardly triumph 
over excruciating pain unless the sensibility of the 
patient were neutralized by a sort of soul anesthesia. 
It is known that, in the heat of battle, a severe 
wound is often received without being perceived; 
whilst, under ordinary circumstances, a mere scratch 
is felt acutely. . 

Since the production of these phenomena of 
anesthesia is due, in part, to the action of physical 
causes and in part to that of spirits, it may be asked 
how it can have been possible for the civil author- 
ities, in certain cases, to put a stop to them. The 
reason of this is, however, very simple. The actions 
of spirits in these cases is only secondary; they do 
nothing more than take advantage of a natural ten- 
dency. The public authorities did not suppress this 
tendency, but the cause which kept up and stimulated 
it, thus reducing it from a state of activity to one 
of latency ; and they were right in so doing, because 



228 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

the matter was giving rise to abuses and scandal. 
Such intervention, nevertheless, is powerless in cases 
where the action of spirits is direct and spontaneous. 
Good spirits sympathize with all men who are 
good or susceptible of amelioration; inferior spirits 
with men who are bad or who may become such. 
The attachment, in both cases, is a consequence of 
the similarity of sentiment, or as I have told you 
that, like attracts like. 

AFFECTION OF CERTAIN SPIRITS FOR 
CERTAIN PERSONS 

The affection of certain spirits for certain persons 
is not one of exclusive sentiment, for true affection 
has nothing of carnality; but when a. spirit attaches 
himself to a living person it is not always through 
affection only ; for there may also be in that attach- 
ment a reminiscence of human passions. Good spir- 
its take an interest in our misfortunes and prosperity. 
Those who wish us well are grieved by the ills we 
undergo during life. Good spirits do you all the 
good they can and rejoice with you in all your joys. 
They mourn over your afflictions when you do not 
bear them with resignation, because in that case 
affliction produces no beneficial result, for you are 
like the sick man who rejects the disagreeable 
draught that would cure him. The kind of ills that 
cause the most grief to your spirit friends are those 



SOUL EEINCABNATION. 229 

of selfishness and hard-heartedness, for these are the 
root of all your troubles. They smile at the imagin- 
ary sorrow that are born of pride and ambition ; they 
rejoice in those which will shorten your term of trial. 
Our spirit friends, knowing that corporeal life is 
only transitory and that the tribulations by which it 
is accompanied are the means that will enable you to 
reach a happier state, are more grieved for you by 
the moral imperfections which keeps you back than 
by physical ills, which are only transitory. Spirits 
attach as little importance to misfortunes which 
affect you only in your earthly ideas as you do to 
the trifling sorrows of childhood. Seeing the afflic- 
tions of life to be the means of your advancement 
they regard them only as the passing means which 
will restore the sick man to health. They are grieved 
by your sufferings, as you are grieved by those 
of a friend; but, judging the events of your lives 
from a truer point of view, they appreciate them dif- 
ferently. While inferior spirits try to drive you to 
despair, in order to hinder your advancement, the 
good ones seek to inspire you with the courage that 
will turn your trials into a source of gain for your 
future. 



230 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

'Tis easy enough to be pleasant 
When Life goes by with a song, 

But the Soul worth while, 

Which will receive Amelioration, 

Is the one who can smile 

When everything goes wrong. 

SPIRIT PROTECTORS 

There are certain spirits who attach themselves to 
a particular person in order to protect and help him. 
These are what are termed the spirit brother, spirit 
protector or the good genius of a person, and is 
often spoken of as a guardian angel, or spirit pro- 
tector of high degree. The mission of the spirit 
protector is the same as that of the father toward his 
child. It is their aim and desire to lead the object 
of their protection into the right road, to aid him 
with his counsels, to console him in his afflictions 
and sustain his courage under the trials of his 
earthly existence. This spirit protector is attached 
to a person from the moment of his birth to the time 
of his death, when this attachment is continued after 
death in spirit life and in even their next earthly 
existence, if this particular spirit or soul should be- 
come reincarnated or live on earth again at some 
future period. Every person's spirit protector is 
obliged to watch over him, because he has accepted 
the charge and duty, but the spirit brother or pro- 
tector has the privilege of choosing his ward from 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 231 

among those who are sympathetic and congenial 
with him. It is many times that this duty is- a pleas- 
ure, others it is a mission. Once a spirit protector 
has attached himself to a given person he need not 
necessarily refrain from protecting another person, 
but he does so less exclusively. 

A spirit protector sometimes abandons his ward 
when the latter persists in neglecting his counsels. 
He withdraws from him when he sees that his coun- 
sels are useless and that there is a stubborn deter- 
mination to yield to the influence of inferior spirits, 
but he does not abandon them entirely and continues 
to make himself heard. It is not the spirit who quits 
the man, but the man who closes his soul against the 
spirit. As soon as the man calls him back the spirit 
returns to him. 

If there be a doctrine that should win over the 
most incredulous by its charm and its beauty it is 
that of the existence of the spirit protectors or guar- 
dian angels. To think that you have always near 
you beings who are superior to you and who are 
always beside you to counsel you, to sustain you, to 
aid you in climbing the steep ascent of self-improve- 
ment, whose friendship is truer and more devoted 
than the most intimate union that you can contract 
upon the earth. Is not such an idea most consoling? 
Those good spirits are near you by the commands of 
God. It is He who has placed them beside you. 



232 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

They are there for love of Him, and fulfill towards 
you a noble but laborious mission. They are with 
you wherever you may be; in the dungeon, in soli- 
tude, in the lazar-house, even in the haunts of de- 
bauchery. Nothing ever separates you from a true 
friend whom you cannot see, but whose gentle im- 
pulsions are felt, and whose wise monitions are heard 
in the innermost recesses of your heart. 

REVELATION 

Would that you were more fully impressed with 
this truth; how often would it aid you in your 
moments of need ; how often would it save you from 
the snares of evil spirits; but at the great day of 
account how often will your guardian angel have to 
say to you, "Did I not urge you and yet you would 
not follow my leading? Did I not show you the 
abyss, and yet you persisted in throwing yourself 
into it? Did I not cause your conscience to hear the 
voice of truth, and have you not followed lying coun- 
sels ?" Question your guardian spirits; establish be- 
tween yourselves and them the affectionate intimacy 
which exists between tried and loving friends. For 
did not Christ say, "I always listen for the inner 
voice of revelation" Do not think to hide anything 
from them, for they are the eye of God and you can- 
not deceive them. Think of the future ; seek to ad- 
vance on the upward road; your trials will be 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 233 

shorter, your existence happier. Men, take courage ; 
cast far from you all prejudices and mental reserva- 
tions ; enter resolutely upon the new road that opens 
before you. You have guides, follow them. Your 
goal cannot fail you, that goal is God Himself. 

To those who may think it impossible that spirits 
of high degree should bind themselves to a task so 
laborious and demanding so much patience on their 
part, my reply is that spirits influence your souls 
while at many millions of leagues from you. To 
them space is nothing, and, while living in another 
world, spirits preserve their connection with yours. 
They possess qualities of which you can form no 
idea; but be sure that God has not imposed upon 
them a task above their strength, and that He has 
not abandoned you upon the earth without friends 
and without support. Every guardian angel has his 
ward, over whom he watches as a father watches 
over his child ; he rejoices when he sees him follow- 
ing the right road ; he mourns when his counsels are 
neglected. 

Do not fear to weary them with your questions. 
Remain, on the contrary, always in connection with 
them, and you will thus be stronger and happier. It 
is this communication between each man and his 
familiar spirit and the spirits of the Astral Plane 
that will eventually make all men mediums and drive 
out incredulity from the world. You who have re- 



234 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

ceived instruction instruct in your turn. You who 
are possessed of talents raise your brethren. You 
know not how great a work you accomplish by so 
doing; it is the work of Christ, the work imposed 
on you by God. Why has God given you intelligence 
and knowledge, as well as Great Occult and Spir- 
itual Powers if not to share them with your brethren 
to aid them to advance on the road that leads to 
eternal felicity. The doctrine of guardian spirits 
watching over their wards, notwithstanding the dis- 
tance which separates different worlds, has in it noth- 
ing that should excite your surprise ; it is as natural 
as it is grand and sublime. Do we not see a mother, 
upon the earth, watch over her child even though at 
a distance from her and aid him by the wise coun- 
sels of her letters and advice? Why, then, should 
it be deemed surprising that spirits should guide, 
from one world to another, those whom they take 
under their protection, since, to them, the distance 
which separates worlds is less than than which, on 
earth, separates continents. Besides have they 
not the use of the universal Astral fluids, which binds 
together all the worlds of the universe and makes 
them part and parcel of each other? This Astral 
Fluid acts for them as the universal vehicle for the 
transmission of thought, as the air acts for us the 
vehicle of the transmission of sound. 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 235 

EVIL SPIRITS UNITE TO NEUTRALIZE 
THE ACTION OF THE GOOD ONES 

If a spirit abandons his ward and no longer 
watches over him he will never do him any harm, 
as good spirits never do harm to any one. They 
leave that to those who take their place and you then 
accuse fate of the misfortunes that overwhelm you, 
while in reality it is the results of your own wrong- 
doings and your own sad mistakes. Evil spirits 
unite to neutralize the action of the good ones, but 
the soul of the ward suffices to give back all the 
power to his spirit protector. When the one pro- 
tected has a positive will for good it renders it easy 
to help him. In such a case he takes advantage of 
doing good while awaiting the return of his ward. 
Whenever your spirit protector allows you to wander 
into evil ways and wrong paths it is not because he 
is unable to cope with the bad spirits which mislead 
you, but because he does not choose to do so. He 
knows that you will become wiser and better 
through the trials that you will have brought upon 
yourself. Your spirit brother will assist you through 
great counsels and will suggest to your mind ideas 
and thoughts which are not always heeded, but this 
will be due to your own weakness, carelessness or 
pride, and this in itself gives great strength and 
power to bad spirits as their power over you comes 
solely from your not opposing sufficient resistance to 



236 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

their action and influence. Again you may wonder 
if your spirit protector and counselor is constantly 
with you. There are, of course, circumstances under 
which the presence of your protector is not neces- 
sary. When once the human soul has reached a 
degree of development which enables him to guide 
himself, as the time comes when a scholar no longer 
needs a master or teacher, the soul has no longer 
need of his guardian angel, but this point or stage in 
your spiritual development is never reached upon the 
Earth Plane. The good spirits of the Astral Plane 
many times assist you when you have no knowledge 
of the same, and it is well that you have no knowl- 
edge of this, for if you count on their support you 
will not act of yourself, consequently your self action 
and soul cannot progress, for in order to convince 
each man to acquire personal experience, often at 
the expense of his own soul, he must exercise his 
soul powers, otherwise he would live like a child who 
is not allowed to walk alone. The action of the spir- 
its who desire your welfare is always regulated in 
such a way as to let you use your own free will, for 
if you had no responsibility you would not advance 
on the road that is to lead you to a better spiritual 
existence. Mankind not seeing his spiritual sup- 
porters puts forth his own strength, but his spiritual 
guides, however, watches over him and calls to him 
from time to time to bid him beware of approaching 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 237 

danger. Whenever your spirit protector succeeds in 
guiding you upon the right path, he thereby benefits 
you and also himself, as his work is a meritorious 
work which will be counted to him either for his 
advancement or his happiness. He rejoices when 
he sees his ward and care crowned with success, and 
triumphs as a teacher triumphs over the success of 
a student. If he has done everything for you that 
has depended on him and has not succeeded for you, 
you and not he will be held responsible. Spirit pro- 
tectors always feel grieved at the errors made by 
mankind and pity him, but this has nothing of the 
anguish of earth life, because the spirit guide knows 
that there is a remedy for the evil and that what is 
not done to-day will be done in the future. If you 
desire to evoke your spirit guide give him any name 
you please, that is to say, any name that you feel 
would do for a superior spirit for whom you feel 
great veneration ; your spirit guide will then always 
answer your appeal, for all good spirits are brothers 
and assist each other. There are many spirit guides 
who take well known names of persons. These per- 
sons have been in sympathy with these spirits and in 
many cases come by their order, and if you desire 
them to take a name they will do so to inspire you 
with their confidence. A father or mother in spirit 
life cannot be the real spirit guardian of their child, 
for such guardianship possesses a certain degree of 



238 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

spirit elevation and the power granted by God. 
However, a parent who watches over his child may 
himself be assisted by a spirit of more elevated de- 
gree. A soul which has passed from the earth plane 
under favorable conditions can in a sense become a 
protector of those whom they left and that have sur- 
vived them, but their power is more or less narrowed 
by their position and advancement. This, of course, 
does not always leave them free of liberty and action. 
Savages and men who are very low as regards their 
moral state have their protectors, for every man has 
a spirit who watches over him, but missions are 
always proportioned to their object. You would not 
give the professor of philosophy to a child who is 
learning its grammar. The advancement of the 
guardian spirit is always proportioned to that of the 
soul he protects. While you yourself have a spirit of 
higher degree who watches over you, you may in 
turn become the protector of a soul who is lower 
than you, and the progress you help him make will 
contribute to your own advancement, for God does 
not demand of any soul or spirit more than is con- 
sistent to its nature and with the degree at which it 
has arrived. It would not be entirely correct to say 
that a good spirit and an evil one is attached to each 
individual for the purpose of exciting him to evil and 
thus furnishing him with the opportunity of strug- 
gling between good and evil. Nevertheless it is true 



SOUL EEINCAENATIOK 239 

the bad spirits do endeavor to draw you out of the 
right road whenever they find an opportunity of 
doing so, but when an evil spirit attaches himself 
to an individual he does so of his own accord, be- 
cause he hopes to be able to influence him and cause 
him to not listen to good. In this case there is a 
struggle between the good and evil spirit, and the 
victory remains with the one whose influence the 
man has subjected himself to, or as written above, 
has attracted to him by his own condition of mind 
and soul, which must be either good or bad. 



THE MASTER OF SPIRITISM. 

His snowy hair and beard identified 
With purple robes and manner dignified, 
While inviting you, in a kindly voice, 
Come to India's teachings, to conquer, and rejoice. 

— Dr. de Laurence. 



CHAPTER XII. 

FAMILIAR SPIRITS 

From the above explanations of the nature and 
possibilities of Spiritism, which are the results of 
years of meditation and observation, as well as com- 
munication with all kinds of nature of spirits on the 
Astral Plane, who attach themselves to and influence 
man, you may draw the following conclusions and 
rely upon them as being literally and sacredly true : 
That the spirit protector, good genius or guardian 
angel is the one whose mission it is to follow each 
man through the course of life, and to aid him to 
progress to his degree of advancement which is al- 
ways superior to that of his ward. 

Familiar spirits attach themselves to certain per- 
sons for a longer or shorter period, in order to be 
useful to them within the limits (often somewhat 
narrow) of their possibilities; they are generally 
well-intentioned, but sometimes rather backward and 
even frivolous. They busy themselves with the 
every-day details of human life, and only act by or- 
der with the permission of the spirit guardians. 

Sympathetic spirits are those who are drawn to us 



242 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

by personal affection, and by a similarity of tastes in 
good or in evil. The duration of their relationship 
with us is almost dependent on circumstances. An 
evil genius is an imperfect or wicked spirit, who 
attaches himself to a man for the purpose of pervert- 
ing him, but he acts of his own motion and not in 
virtue of a mission. His tenacity is proportionate to 
the more or less easy access accorded to him. A man 
is always free to listen to the suggestions of an evil 
genius or to repel them. 

There are persons who attach themselves to others 
in order to urge and influence them on to their in- 
jury, or to direct them in the right path. And many 
persons do in fact exercise over others a fascination 
and influence which seems irresistible. When this 
influence is used for evil it is to be attributed to an 
evil spirit or soul, who makes use of evil men in 
order the more effectually to subject their victim, 
and this is often done in order to try a person. Many 
times spirits attach themselves to all the members 
of a family in order to watch over, aid and guide 
them, and as spirits are attracted to a family so they 
become attracted to a large number of individuals 
by sympathy. They are also attracted to an order 
or company of people and become united in their 
views with them. Spirits go by preference to the 
places where they meet their similars ; they are more 
at ease among such and more sure of being listened 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 243 

to. Every one attracts spirits to himself according 
to his tendencies, whether as an individual or as an 
element of a collective whole, such as a society, a 
city or a nation. Societies, towns and nations are 
therefore assisted by spirits of more or less elevated 
degree, according to the character and passions 
which predominate in them. Imperfect spirits with- 
draw from those who repel them, from which it fol- 
lows that the moral excellence of collective wholes, 
like that of individuals, tends to keep away bad spir- 
its and to attract good ones, who rouse and keep 
alive the sense of rectitude in the masses, as others 
may sow among them the worst passions. 

Agglomerations of individuals, such as societies, 
cities, nations, have their special spirit guardians, for 
these assemblages constitute collective individuali- 
ties, who are pursuing a common end, and who have 
need of a higher direction. There are certain spirits 
who advance the progress of Occult teachings by 
protecting those who cultivate them. Again there 
are special spirit protectors who assist those by whom 
they are invoked when they judge them to be 
worthy of their help; but what could they do with 
those who fancy themselves to be what they are not. 
They cannot make the blind see nor the deaf hear. 

The ancients converted these spirit guardians into 
special deities. The Muses were nothing else than 
the allegoric personification of the spirit protectors 



244 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

of arts and sciences, just as the spirit protectors of 
the family circle were designated by the name of 
lares or of penates. Among the moderns the arts, 
the various industries, cities, countries, have also 
their protecting patrons, who are no other than spirit 
guardians of a higher order, but under different 
names. 

Each man having his sympathetic spirit it follows 
that, in every collective whole, the generality of sym- 
pathetic spirits correspond to the generality of in- 
dividuals ; that stranger spirits are attracted to it by 
identity of tastes and thoughts, in a word, that these 
assemblages, as well as individuals, are more or less 
favorably surrounded, influenced, assisted, according 
to the predominant character of the thoughts of those 
who compose them. Among nations the conditions 
which exercise an attractive action upon spirits are 
the habits, manners and dominant characteristics of 
their people and, above all, their legislation, because 
the character of a nation is reflected in its laws. 
Those who uphold the reign of righteousness among 
themselves combat the influence of evil spirits. 
Wherever the laws consecrate injustice, inhumanity, 
good spirits are in the minority, and the mass of bad 
ones who flock in, attracted by that state of things, 
keep the people in their false ideas and paralyze the 
good influences which, being only partial, are lost in 
the crowd, like a solitary wheat ear in the midst of 



SOUL EEINCAKNATION. 245 

tares. It is therefore easy, by studying the character 
of nations, or of any assemblage of men, to form to 
oneself an idea of the invisible population which is 
mixed up with them in their thoughts and in their 
actions. 

PRESENTIMENT 

Is a presentiment always a warning from the 
spirit guardian? you may ask. A presentiment is a 
counsel privately addressed to you by a spirit who 
wishes you well. The same may be said of the in- 
tuition which decides the choice of his next existence 
by a spirit about to reincarnate himself; the voice 
of instinct is of the same nature. A spirit, before 
incarnating himself, is aware of the principal phases 
of his new existence, that is to say, of the kind of 
trials to which he is about to subject himself. When 
these are of a marked character he preserves, in his 
inner consciousness, a sort of impression respecting 
them, and this impression, which is the voice of in- 
stinct, becoming more vivid as the critical moment 
draws near, becomes presentiment. Whenever pre- 
sentiments or impressions are somewhat vague or 
you are not in doubt always invoke your Astral 
Guides or spirit protectors or beseech and implore 
the Almighty God, who is our common Master, to 
send to you a spirit guide or messenger. I will 
teach you how to do this further on in these writings 



246 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

of Spiritism. Warnings from Spirit Life are not 
given solely for your moral guidance alone, but they 
are given in reference to everything that concerns 
you. 

Your spirit guardians endeavor to lead you to 
take, in regard to everything that you have to do, 
the best possible course; but you often close your 
ears to their friendly counsels and thus get your- 
selves into trouble through your own fault. Our 
protecting spirits aid us by their counsels and by 
awakening the voice of our conscience ; but as we do 
not always attach sufficient importance to these 
hints, they give us more direct warnings through the 
persons about us. Let a man reflect upon the vari- 
ous circumstances of his life, fortunate or unfortu- 
nate, and he will see that, on many occasions, he re- 
ceived advice which, had he followed it, would have 
spared him a good deal of annoyance. You erron- 
eously imagine that the action of spirits can only be 
manifested by extraordinary phenomena ; you would 
have spirits come to your aid by means of miracles, 
and you imagine them to be always armed with a 
sort of magic wand. Such is not the case; all that 
is done though usually takes place without your being 
aware of it. Thus, for instance, they bring about 
the meeting of two persons who seem to have been 
brought together by chance ; they suggest to the mind 
of some one the idea of going in a particular diree- 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 247 

tion. They call your attention to some special 
point, if the action on your part thus led up to it by 
their suggestion, unperceived by you, and will bring 
about the result they seek to obtain. In this way, 
each man supposes himself to be obeying only his 
own impulse and thus always preserves the freedom 
of his will. Spirits possess the power of acting 
upon matter and they can bring about incidents that 
will insure the accomplishment of a given event. As 
an illustration, a person is destined to die in a certain 
way, at a certain time. He gets into a boat and is 
drowned. Spirits do not really upset the boat in 
order to accomplish the destiny previously accepted 
or imposed upon this man. For while spirits have 
the power of acting upon matter and causing what is 
termed in India "objective change" but only for the 
carrying out of the laws of nature, and not for de- 
rogating from them by causing the production at a 
given moment of some unforeseen event, in opposi- 
tion to these laws. In the case which I have cited, 
the boat upturns because the waves are too rough for 
it or the man within it is ignorant of the science of 
handling it. But as it was the destiny of this man 
to be killed in this way, the spirits about him will 
have put into his mind the idea of getting into a boat 
that will sink down under his weight and his death 
will thus have taken place naturally and without any 
miracle having been required to bring it about. Let 



248 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

us take another illustration; one in which the ordi- 
nary conditions of matter would seem to be insuffi- 
cient to account for the occurrence of a given event. 
A man is destined to be killed by lightning. He is 
overtaken by a storm, and seeks refuge under a tree ; 
the lightning strikes the tree, and he is killed. Is it 
by spirits that the thunderbolt has been made to fall, 
and to fall upon this particular man ? 

The explanation of this case is the same as that of 
the former one. The lightning has fallen on the tree 
at this particular moment, because it was in accord- 
ance with the laws of nature that it should do so. 
The lightning was not made to fall upon the tree be- 
cause the man was under it, but the man was inspired 
with the idea of taking refuge under a tree upon 
which the lightning was about to fall; for the tree 
would have been struck all the same, whether the 
man had been under it or not. An ill-intentioned 
person hurls against some one a projectile which 
passes close by him but does not touch him. The 
missile, in such a case, has been turned aside by some 
friendly spirit, for if the individual aimed at were 
not destined to be struck, a friendly spirit would 
have suggested to him the thought of turning aside 
from the path of the missile, or would have acted on 
his enemy's sight in such a way as to make him take 
a bad aim; for a projectile, when once impelled on its 
way, necessarily follows the line of its projection. 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 249 

Many evil spirits take pleasure in causing vexations 
which serve as trials for the exercise of your pati- 
ence; but they tire of this game when they see that 
they do not succeed in ruffling you. But it would 
neither be just or correct to charge them with all 
your disappointments, the greater number of which 
are caused by your own heedlessness. When your 
crockery is broken, the breakage is much more likely 
to have been caused by your own awkwardness than 
by spirit-action. There are some evil spirits who 
annoy an individual and torment him from pure per- 
sonal animosity. There are others who vex a per- 
son without their having any particular reason or 
aim simply to gratify their malice. In some cases 
these spirits are enemies whom an individual has 
made during his present earth life and who pursue 
him accordingly; others act without any fixed mo- 
tive. Those spirits or souls whom a man has 
harmed while they lived in the body usually revenge 
the wrong he has done them and in many cases they 
continue to pursue him with their animosity, if God 
permits them to do so, as a continuation of his trial, 
and the only way for him to escape their persecution 
is by praying for them, because by thus rendering 
them good for evil, you gradually bring them to see 
that they are in the wrong. And, in all cases, if you 
can show them, by your patience, that you are able 
to rise superior to their machinations they will cease 



250 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

to attack you, seeing that they gain nothing by so 
doing. Experience proves that imperfect spirits fol- 
low up their vengeance from one existence to an- 
other, and that we are thus made to expiate, sooner 
or later, the wrong we may have done to others. 
Know also, that it often depends on yourselves to 
avert misfortunes, or, at least, to attenuate them. 
God has given you intelligence in order that you 
may make use of it, and it is especially by so doing 
that you enable friendly spirits to aid you most ef- 
fectually — viz., by suggesting useful ideas ; for they 
only help those who help themselves : a truth implied 
in the words, "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it 
shall be opened unto you." Besides, you must re- 
member that what appears to you to be a misfortune 
is not always such ; for the good which it is destined 
to work out is often never recognized by you, be- 
cause you are too apt to think only of the present 
moment and of your own immediate satisfaction. It 
is true that spirits can obtain gifts of fortune for a 
person and direct them to hidden and buried treas- 
ures, but after they have directed you and guided 
you in a manner that you become wealthy and inde- 
pendent and you fail to remember them or give 
thanks by burning certain fumigations and giving up 
certain secret invocations, and if this is not done 
your future demands will be refused, as you yourself 
would refuse the inconsiderate demands of a child, 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 251 

for even the great God and Creator of the Universe, 
who is a common Master of all mankind, will not 
answer your pleadings unless you deserve them. The 
above mentioned demands and favors are answered 
by both good and evil spirits, for the quality, both 
of the request and of the grant, depends on the in- 
tention by which they are prompted. But such ac- 
quiescence is more frequent on the part of spirits 
who desire to lead you astray, and who find an easy 
means of doing this through the material pleasures 
procured by wealth. Many obstacles which seem to 
be placed by fate in the way of our projects are 
sometimes thrown in our way by evil spirits and 
sometimes by good spirits, who know what is best 
for us in the end. Again they are attributable to out 
own bad management, judgment or decision. Posi- 
tion and character and knowledge, especially of 
Occult and Spiritual things, have everything to do 
with our successes or failures, for if we persist in 
following a path which is not a right one we ulti- 
mately become our own evil genius, consequently 
we cannot attribute to spirits the disappointments 
that result from our own ignorance and mistakes. 
If we are fortunate we should certainly by deep 
meditation and prayer, both to God and the good 
spirits of the Astral Plane, thank them. However, if 
we neglect to do this our faith is that of the ungrate- 
ful. You may say that there are individuals living 



252 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

today on the earth plane who never pray or give 
thanks, but are fortunate in everything that they un- 
dertake, but my advice to you, and it is good, I as- 
sure you, is to wait until the end of their lives in the 
body, for they shall surely pay dearly for their tem- 
porary prosperity, which they do not deserve ; for the 
more they have received and the more they have in- 
dulged themselves at the expense of their fellow 
beings the more they will have to answer for it. 
Spirits exert an action over the phenomena of nature 
and some act in one way while others are busy in 
another. As an illustration, meditate to yourself on 
the myriads of animalculse that build up islands and 
archipelagoes in the midst of the sea ; do you believe 
that there can be, in this process, no providential in- 
tention, and that this transformation of the surface 
of the globe is not necessary to the general harmony. 
Yet all this is accomplished by animals of the lowest 
degree in providing for their bodily wants and with- 
out any consciousness of their being instruments of 
God. In the same way spirits of the most rudimen- 
tary degrees are useful to the general whole; while 
preparing to live, and prior to their having the full 
consciousness of their action and free will, they are 
made to concur in the development of the various 
departments of nature, in the production of the 
phenomena of which they are the unwitting agents. 
They begin by executing the orders of their super- 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 253 

iors; subsequently, when their intelligence is more 
developed, they command in their turn and direct the 
processes of the material world ; still later again they 
are able to direct the things of the moral world. It 
is thus that everything in nature is linked together, 
from the primitive atom to the archangel, who him- 
self began at the atom; an admirable law of har- 
mony which your mind is, as yet, too narrow to seize 
in its generality. 

In the case of those who are killed in 
battle, as in all other cases of violent death, a 
spirit, during the first few moments, is in a state of 
bewilderment, and as though he were stunned. He 
does not know that he is dead and seems to be taking 
part in the action. It is only little by little that the 
reality of his situation becomes apparent to him. A 
soul, under such cirmcumstances, is never calm at 
the first moment ; he may still be excited against his 
enemy and even pursue him, but when he has re- 
covered his self-possession he sees that his animosity 
has no longer any motive. But he may neverthe- 
less retain some traces of it for a longer or shorter 
period, according to his character. Very few deaths 
are altogether instantaneous. In most cases the spirit 
whose body has just been mortally struck is not 
aware of it for the moment ; it is when he begins to 
come to himself that his spirit can be seen moving 
beside his corpse. This appears so natural that the 



254 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

sight of the dead body does not produce any dis- 
agreeable effect. All the life of the individual being 
concentrated in his spirit the latter alone attracts the 
attention of the spirits about him. It is with him 
that they converse, to him that orders are given. 

PACTS WITH SPIRITS 

Pacts with spirits of the Astral Plane is sympathy 
between an evil nature and evil spirits. For example, 
you wish to torment your neighbor, but you know 
not how to set about it, and you therefore call to 
your help some of the inferior spirits, who, like your- 
self, only desire to do evil, and who in return for the 
help they give you in carrying out your wicked de- 
signs expect you to help them with theirs. But it 
does not follow that your neighbor will not be able 
to get rid of such a conspiracy by an opposing con- 
juration and the action of his will. He who desires 
to do an evil deed calls evil spirits to his assistance 
by that mere desire, and he is then obliged to serve 
them as they have served him, for they, on their side, 
have need of his help in the evil they desire to do. 
What you call a pact consists simply in this recipro- 
city of assistance in evil. The subjection to evil 
spirits in which a man sometimes finds himself pro- 
ceeds from this abandoning himself to the evil 
thoughts suggested by them and not from any sort 
of stipulations between them and him. The idea of a 



SOUL BEINCARNATION. 255 

pact in the sense commonly attached to that word 
is a figurative representation of the sympathy which 
exists between a bad man and malicious spirits. The 
meaning of the fantastic legends of persons selling 
their soul to Satan in order to obtain from him cer- 
tain favors is that all fables contain a teaching and 
a moral; your mistake is in taking them literally. 
The one referred to is an allegory and is thus ex- 
plained : He who calls evil spirits to his aid in order 
to obtain from them the gifts of fortune or any other 
favors rebels against Providence. He draws back 
from the mission he has received and from the trials 
he was to have undergone in his earthly life, and he 
will reap the consequences of his rebellion in the life 
to come. By this we do not mean to say that his soul 
is condemned to misery forever; but, as instead of 
detaching himself from matter, he plunges himself 
deeper and deeper into it, his enjoyment of earthly 
pleasures will only have led to his suffering to the 
spirit world, until he shall have redeemed himself 
from the thraldom of evil by new trials, perhaps 
heavier and more painful than those against which 
he now rebels. Through his indulgence in material 
pleasures he brings himself under the power of im- 
pure spirits and thus establishes between them and 
him a tacit compact which leads him to his ruin, but 
which it is always easy for him to break with the 
assistance of higher spirits if he have the firm deter- 
mination to do so. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

SORCERERS AND CONJURORS OF SPIRITS 

A bad man with the aid of evil spirits under his 
orders can cause harm to his neighbors, and certain 
persons who possess strong Occult and Magnetic 
Powers of which they may make bad use are always 
seconded by evil spirits. The existence of these 
powers have been demonstrated, as there are spirits 
who give secret signs and words and direct certain 
acts and with the aid of a sorcerer can perform cer- 
tain things. It is possible when a person confides 
and believes in a certain talisman to attract a spirit 
to him that will assist in performing what he desires, 
as a talisman has virtue and is a sign which assists 
both the spirit and a conjuror to concentrate their 
Occult power and bring about certain things. Those 
who are called sorcerers and conjurors of spirits 
are persons possessed with certain exceptional Occult 
Powers and you may not be amazed if such persons 
perform and bring about things that you do not 
comprehend. Occult powers are possessed by some 
to cure disease and is known as the gift of healing, 
and has very great action when seconded by purity 



258 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

of intention of soul and an ardent desire to relieve 
the suffering and infliction. Benedictions and curses 
have certain virtue, as the soul of man is subjected 
to opposite influences which are both good and evil. 
A curse has also a decided action even upon matter 
and this action when it takes place is an increase of 
a trial for him who is its object. Curses are usually 
bestowed on the wicked and benedictions on the 
good. But neither blessing nor cursing can ever 
turn aside the justice of Providence, which only 
strikes the one who is cursed if he is wicked and only 
favor the one who is blessed if he merits its protec- 
tion. Spirits besides working out their own personal 
amelioration co-operate in the production of har- 
mony of the universe by executing the volitions of 
God, whose ministers they are. Spirit life is a con- 
tinual occupation, but one that has nothing in com- 
mon with the painful labor of the earthly life, be- 
cause there is in it no bodily fatigue nor the anguish 
of bodily wants. Inferior and evil spirits all have 
duties to fulfill, as does the lowest mason, as does the 
lowest apprentice in the construction of a building, 
which is as useful as that of the architect. Spirits 
inhabit all regions and acquire the knowledge of all 
things, but as is taught in Hindu Sancrit there is a 
spirit and a time for everything. Thus one spirit is 
perfect, another will accomplish his amelioration or 
has already accomplished it at another period, upon 



SOUL EEINCAKNATION. 259 

the earth, in the water, in the air, etc. All spirits 
have to ascend all the steps of the ladder in order 
to attain perfection. God, who is just, is not willed 
to give science to some without labor, while others 
only acquire it through painful effort. Thus, among 
men, no one arrives .at the highest degree of skill 
in any art without having acquired the necessary 
knowledge through the practice of that art in all its 
degrees from the lowest upwards. Spirits of the 
highest order do not enter a state of absolute repose, 
as nothing can remain idle throughout eternity, for 
eternal idleness would be eternal torture and all spir- 
its are incessantly occupied. That is to say, that 
their thoughts are always active, for living as they 
do a spiritual existence they live only in thought 
and mental activity. Their activity is itself a delight 
through the consciousness they have of being useful. 
This is easily understood as regards good spirits, but 
it is the same in regard to inferior spirits. Inferior 
spirits have occupations suitable to their nature. 
Would you entrust intellectual undertakings to an 
ignorant soul. Of course there are some spirits who 
do not employ themselves always in something use- 
ful and at times are idle, but this idleness is only 
temporary and depends on the development of their 
intelligence. Certainly there are among spirits, as 
among men, some who live only for themselves, but 
their idleness weighs upon them, and, sooner or 



260 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

later, the desire to advance causes them to feel the 
need of activity and they are glad to make them- 
selves useful. I speak of spirits who have arrived at 
the point at which they possess self-consciousness 
and free will, for, at their origin, they are like new- 
born children and act more from instinct than from 
a determinate will. 

CLASSIFICATION OF SPIRITS 

The classification of spirits is based upon the de- 
gree of their advancement, upon the qualities which 
they have acquired, and upon the imperfections from 
which they have still to free themselves. This classi- 
fication, however, is by no means absolute. It is 
only in its totality that the character of each category 
is distinctly marked for each category merges in 
the one above it by imperceptible gradations, the 
peculiarities of the successive categories shading off 
into one another at their extremities, as in the case 
in the various reigns of nature, in the colors of the 
rainbow, in the phases of a human life. Spirits may, 
therefore, be divided into a number of classes more 
or less considerable, according to the point of view 
which we consider the subject. It is in this matter 
as in all other systems of scientific classifications. 
The systems adopted may be more or less complete, 
more or less rational, more or less convenient for the 
understanding, but whatever may be their form they 



SOUL RETNCAKNATION. 261 

change nothing in regard to the facts of the science 
which employs them. That the answers of spirits, 
when questioned on this point, should vary as to the 
number of the categories into which they are divided 
is, therefore, a matter of no practical importance. 
Too much weight has been attributed to this ap- 
parent contradiction by those who forget that dis- 
incarnate intelligences attach no importance what- 
ever to mere conventionalities. For them the mean- 
ing of a statement is the only important point about 
it. They leave to man the question of its form, the 
choice of terms and of classification, in a word, all 
that belongs to the making of system. 

Another thing that should never be lost sight of 
is the fact that there are among spirits, as well as 
men, some who are ignorant, and that we cannot be 
too much on guard against a tendency to believe that 
all spirits know everything simply because they are 
spirits. The work of classification demands method, 
analysis and a thorough knowledge of the subject in- 
vestigated. But those who, in the spirit world, pos- 
sess only a small amount of knowledge, are as in- 
competent as are ignorant human beings to embrace 
the whole of any subject or to formulate a system. 
They have no idea, or but a very imperfect one, of 
any sort of classification. All spirits superior to 
themselves appear to them to be of the highest order, 
for they are as incapable of discriminating the 



262 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

various shades of knowledge, capacity and morality 
by which they are distinguished as one of our sav- 
ages would be to discriminate the various character- 
istics of civilized men. Those who are capable of 
this discrimination may vary, in their appreciation 
of details, according to their special point of view, 
especially in regard to a matter which, from its very 
nature, has nothing fixed or absolutely about it. 
Linnaeus, Jussieu, Tournefort, have each their spe- 
cial system of classification, but the nature of botany 
has not been changed by this diversity of system 
among botanists. The latter have not invented either 
plants or their characteristics; they have merely ob- 
served certain analogies, according to which they 
have formed certain groups or classes. I have pro- 
ceeded in the same way. I have not invented either 
spirits or their characteristics. I have seen and ob- 
served them, I have judged them by their own words 
and acts and I have classed them by order of simili- 
tude, basing my classification on the data furnished 
by themselves. The higher spirits generally admit 
the existence of three principal categories, or main 
divisions, among the people of the other world. In 
the lowest of these, at the bottom of the ladder, are 
the imperfect spirits, who are characterized by the 
predominance of the instincts of materiality over the 
moral nature and by the propensity to evil. Those 
of the second degree are characterized by the pre- 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 263 

dominance of the moral nature over the material 
instincts and by the desire of good. They constitute 
the category of good spirits. The first or highest 
category consists of those who have reached the state 
of pure spirits and have thus attained to the supreme 
degree of perfection imaginable by us. This division 
of spirits into three well-marked categories appears 
to me to be perfectly rational ; and, having arrived 
at this general classification, it only remained for me 
to bring out, through a sufficient number of subdivi- 
sions, the principal shades of the three great spirits 
categories thus established. And this I have done 
with the aid of the spirits themselves, whose friendly 
instructions have never failed me in carrying out 
the work upon which I have been led to enter. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

REVEALING THE FUTURE 

The future life with its happenings and events is 
always hidden from the blind materialists, but this 
in itself is a wise provision and the future is never 
opened to any man unless he has developed his inner 
or spiritual sight, and this is a provision of God, for 
if man knew the future he would neglect the present 
and would not act with the same freedom, because he 
would be swayed by the thought that if such and 
such a thing is to happen there is no need to occupy 
one's self about it, or else he would seek to prevent it. 
God has willed that it should not be thus in order 
that each may concur in the accomplishment of the 
designs of Providence, even of those which He 
would desire to thwart; and thus you, yourselves, 
often prepare the way, without your knowing it, for 
the events that will occur in the course of your life. 

The reason why the future is sometimes revealed 
to certain people by and through those who are 
clairvoyant is because that in such cases this fore- 
knowledge, instead of hindering the accomplishment 
of the thing that is to be will facilitate it by inducing 



2G6 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

the person to whom it is revealed to act in a different 
way from that in which he would otherwise have 
acted. And, besides, it is often a trial. The prospect 
of an event may awaken thoughts more or less vir- 
tuous. If a man becomes aware, for instance, that 
he will succeed to an inheritance which he had not 
expected he may be tempted by a feeling of cupidity 
or elation at the prospect of adding to his earthly 
pleasures by a desire for the death of him to whose 
fortune he will succeed in order that he may obtain 
possession of it more speedily ; or, on the other hand, 
this prospect may awaken in him only good and 
generous thoughts. If the prediction be not fulfilled 
it is another trial, viz., that of the way in which he 
will bear the disappointment, but he will none the 
less have acquired the merit or the blame of the good 
or bad thoughts awakened in him by his expectation 
of the event predicted. 

The spirits of the Astral Plane know everything. 
They know whether a man will or will not fail in 
anything which he begins. Where then is the use 
of this trial since it can show God nothing that He 
does not already know in regard to that man? 

You may as well ask why God did not create man 
accomplished, perfect, or why man has to pass 
through childhood before arriving at an adult age. 
The aim of trial is not to enlighten God in regard 
to man's deserts, for God knows exactly what they 



SOUL KEINCARNATION. 267 

are, but to leave to man the entire responsibility of 
his conduct, since he is free to do or not to do. Man 
having free choice between good and evil, trial serves 
to bring him under the action of temptation, and 
thus to give him the merit of resistance; for God, 
though knowing beforehand whether he will triumph 
or succumb, cannot, being just, either reward or 
punish him otherwise than according- to the deeds 
he has done. 

The same principle is practically admitted among 
men. Whatever may be the qualifications of a can- 
didate for any distinction, whatever may be our con- 
fidence of his success, no grade can be conferred on 
him without his having undergone the prescribed 
examination, that is to say, without his deserts hav- 
ing been tested by trial, just as a judge only con- 
demns the accused for the crime he has actually com- 
mitted, and not on the presumption that he could or 
would commit such crime. The more you reflect on 
the consequences that would result from your knowl- 
edge of the future the more clearly will you see the 
wisdom of Providence in hiding it from you. The 
certainty of your future good fortune would render 
you inactive; that of coming misfortune would 
plunge you in discouragement; in both cases your 
activities would be paralyzed. For this reason the 
future is only known to man as an end which he 
is to attain through his own efforts, but without 



268 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

knowing the sequence of events through which he 
will pass in attaining it. The foreknowledge of all 
the incidents of his journey would deprive him of 
his initiative and of the use of his free will ; he would 
let himself be drawn, passively, by the force of 
events down the slope of circumstances without any 
exercise of his faculties. When the success of a 
matter is certain you no longer busy yourselves 
about it. 

DESCRIPTION OF THE PLANETS BY 
ASTRAL SPIRITS 

According to the statements of Astral Spirits this 
planet, as regards the physical and moral qualities of 
its inhabitants, is one of the least advanced of all 
the globes of our solar system. Mars is stated to 
be at a point even lower than that of the earth, and 
Jupiter to be greatly superior to the earth in every 
respect. The sun is not a world inhabited by cor- 
poreal beings, but is a place of meeting for the spirits 
of a higher order, who from thence send out the 
radiations of their thought toward the outer worlds 
of the solar system, which they govern through the 
instrumentality of spirits of a less elevated degree, to 
whom they transmit their action by the intermediary 
of the universal fluid. As regards its physical con- 
stitution the sun would appear to be a focus of elec- 



SOUL KEINCARNATTON. 269 

tricity, and all other suns seem to be identical with 
ours in nature and function. 

The size of planets and their distance from the 
sun have no necessary relation with their degree of 
advancement, for Venus is more advanced than the 
earth and Saturn is declared to be less advanced than 
Jupiter. 

The souls of many persons well known in this 
earth are reincarnated in Jupiter, one of the worlds 
nearest to perfection, and much surprise has been 
felt on hearing it stated that persons who, when here, 
were not supposed to merit such a favor should have 
been admitted into so advanced a globe. But there 
is nothing in this fact that need surprise us if we 
consider, first, that certain spirits who have inhabited 
this planet may have been sent hither in fulfillments 
of a mission which, to our eyes, did not seem to place 
them in the foremost rank; secondly, that they may 
have had, between their lives and here and in Jupiter, 
intermediary existences in which they have ad- 
vanced, and thirdly, that there are innumerable de- 
grees of development in that world as in this one, 
and that there may be as much difference between 
these degrees as there is amongst us between the 
savage and the civilized man. It no more follows 
that a spirit is on a level with the most advanced 
beings of Jupiter because he inhabits that planet than 



270 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

it follows that an ignoramus is on a level with a 
philosopher because he inhabits the same town. 

The conditions of longevity, also, are as various 
in other worlds as they are in our earth, and no com- 
parison can be established between the ages of those 
who inhabit them. A person who had died some 
years previously, on being evoked by a Hindu, 
stated that he had been incarnated for six months 
in a world which the name is unknown to us. Being 
questioned as to his age in that world he replied, 
"That is a point which I am unable to' decide, because 
in the first place we do not count time in the same 
way as you do, and in the next place our mode of 
existence is not the same as yours. Our development 
is much more rapid in this world, for, although it is 
only six of your months since I came here, I may 
say that, as regards intelligence, I am about what 
one usually is at the age of thirty in your earth." 

A great number of similar replies have been given 
by other spirits, and these statements contain noth- 
ing improbable. Do we not see upon our earth a 
host of animals that acquire their normal develop- 
ment in the course of a few months? Why should 
not men do the same in other spheres ? And it is to 
be remarked, moreover, that the degree of develop- 
ment acquired by a man at the age of thirty upon the 
earth may be only a sort of infancy in comparison 
with what he is destined to arrive at in worlds of 



SOUL BEINCARNATION. 271 

higher degree. Short-sighted indeed are they who 
look upon their present selves as being in all respects 
the normal type of creation, and to suppose that there 
can be no other modes of existence than their present 
one is, in short, a strange narrowing of their idea of 
the possibilities of the Divine action. 

The life of a spirit in his totality goes through 
successive phases similar to those of a corporeal life- 
time. He passes gradually from the embryonic state 
to that of infancy, and arrives, through a succession 
of periods at the adult state, which is that of his per- 
fection, with this difference, however, that it is not 
subject either to decrepitude or to decline, like the 
corporeal life ; that the life of a spirit, though it has 
had a beginning, will have no end; that he takes 
what appears from your point of view to be an im- 
mense length of time of passing from the state of 
spirit infancy to the attainment of his complete de- 
velopment, and that he accomplishes this progres- 
sion, not in one and the same sphere, but by passing 
through different worlds. The life of a spirit is thus 
composed of a series of days, in each of which he 
acquires a new increment of experience and of 
knowledge. But just as in a human lifetime there 
are days which bear no fruit, so in the life of a spirit 
there are corporeal existences which are barren of 
profitable result, because he has failed to make the 
right use of them. 



272 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

The line of march of all spirits is always progres- 
sive, never retrograde. They raise themselves grad- 
ually in the hierarchy of existence; they never de- 
scend from the rank at which they have once arrived. 
In the course of their different corporeal existences 
they may descend in a rank as man, but not as spirits. 
Thus the soul of one who has been at the pinnacle 
of earthly power may, in a subsequent incarnation, 
animate the humblest day laborer, and vice versa, for 
the elevation of ranks among men is often in the 
inverse ration of that of the moral sentiments. 
Herod was a king, and Jesus a carpenter. The cer- 
tainty of man's being able to improve himself in a 
future existence would not in itself lead him to per- 
sist in an evil course by thinking that he will at some 
period be able to make amends. For he who made 
such a calculation would have no real belief in any- 
thing, and such a one would not be any more re- 
strained by the idea of incurring eternal punishment, 
because his reason would reject that idea, which 
leads to every sort of unbelief. An imperfect spirit, 
it is true, might reason in that way during his cor- 
poreal life, but when he is freed from his material 
body he thinks very differently, for he soon perceives 
that he has made a great mistake in his calculations, 
and this perception causes him to carry an opposite 
sentiment into his next incarnation. It is thus that 
progress is accomplished, and it is thus also that you 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 273 

have upon the earth some men who are farther ad- 
vanced than others who have not yet acquired knowl- 
edge, but will be gradually acquired by them. It 
depends greatly upon each spirit to hasten his own 
advancement or to retard it indefinitely. The man 
who has an unsatisfactory position desires to change 
it as soon as possible. He who is convinced that the 
tribulations of the present life are the consequences 
of his own imperfections will seek to insure for him- 
self a new existence of a less painful character, and 
this conviction will draw him away from the wrong 
road much more effectually than the threat of eternal 
flames, which he does not believe in. Man's spirit or 
soul influences his body, for the soul is everything, 
the physical body simply a house for its earthly habi- 
tation, a something that is subject to the physical 
laws of decomposition. Nothing more. 

A material illustration of the various degrees of 
purification of the soul is furnished by the juice of 
the grape. It contains the liquid called spirit of al- 
cohol, but is weakened by the presence of various 
foreign elements which change its nature, so that it 
is only brought to a state of absolute purity after 
several distillations, at each of which it is cleared 
of some portion of its impurity. The still represents 
the corporeal body, into which the spirit or soul en- 
ters for its purification; the foreign elements repre- 
sent the imperfections from which the perispirit is 

18 



274 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

gradually freed, in proportion as the spirit ap- 
proaches the state of relative perfection. 

SPIRIT OF A CHILD WHO DIES 
IN INFANCY 

The soul of a spirit or of a child who dies in in- 
fancy advances in spirit life greater than does that of 
an adult, for this soul may have previously lived 
longer and acquired more experience before its birth 
on earth and consequently has already made consid- 
erable progress, and the spirit of a child may advance 
more rapidly in spirit life than that of its parents. 
Many may think that the spirit of a child who has 
died in infancy without having been able to commit 
any evil belongs to the higher spirit realms, for if 
this soul has committed no evil it has also done noth- 
ing good, and God does not exonerate it from the 
trials which it has to undergo, and if this spirit be- 
longs to high degree it is not because it has manifested 
itself on earth in a child, but because it has achieved 
that degree of advancement as a result of its previous 
experience. Many may wonder why the life of a 
child is cut short. The duration of the life of an 
infant may be for the spirit thus incarnated, and the 
completement of an existence interrupted before its 
appointed time and its death is often a trial or an 
expiration for its parents. The spirit of an infant 



SOUL KEINCAENATTON. 275 

who dies recommences a new and better existence, 
for if man had but a single existence and if after 
this existence his future state were fixed for all 
eternity, by what standard of merit could eternity be 
adjudged to that of the human race which dies in 
childhood, and by what right would it be exoner- 
ated from the conditions of progress, often so pain- 
ful, imposed on the other half? Such an ordering 
could not be reconciled with the justice of God. 
Through the reincarnation of spirits the most abso- 
lute justice is equally meted out to all. The possi- 
bilities of the future are open to all without excep- 
tion and without favor to any. Those who are the 
last to arrive have only themselves to blame for the 
delay. Each man must merit happiness by his own 
right action, as he has to bear the consequences of 
his own wrongdoing. It is, moreover, most irra- 
tional to consider childhood as a normal state of 
innocence. Do we not see children endowed with 
the vilest instincts at an age at which even the most 
vicious surroundings cannot have begun to exercise 
any influence upon them ? Do we not see many who 
seem to bring with them at birth cunning, falseness, 
perfidy and even the instincts of thieving and mur- 
der, and this in spite of the good examples by which 
they are surrounded? Human law absolves them 
from their misdeeds, because it regards them as hav- 
ing acted without discernment, and it is right in 



276 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

doing so, for they really act instinctively rather than 
from deliberate intent. But whence proceed the in- 
stinctual differences observable in children of the 
same age, brought up amidst the same conditions 
and subjected to the same influences? Whence 
comes this precocious perversity if not from the in- 
feriority of the spirit himself, since education has 
had nothing to do with producing it? Those who 
are vicious are so because their spirit has made less 
progress ; and, that being the case, each will have to 
suffer the consequences of his inferiority, not on 
account of his wrongdoing as a child, but as the re- 
sult of his evil course in his former existences. A.nd 
thus the action of providential law is the same for 
each, and the justice of God reaches equally to all. 

SEX OF SPIRITS 

Spirits do not have sex, as this term is used upon 
the Earth Plane, for sex in that sense depends on 
the corporeal organization. Love, Affection and 
Sympathy, it is true, exist among spirits, but is 
founded on similarity of sentiments, and the spirit 
who has animated the body of a man may animate 
the body of a woman in a future existence and vice 
versa. It may be asked does a spirit when existing 
in spirit world prefer to be incarnated as a man or 
as a woman, but to this a spirit is indifferent, and 
the point is always decided in view of the trials 



SOUL KEINCAENATION. 277 

which it has to undergo in its new earth life, and 
spirits incarnate themselves as men or as women, be- 
cause they are of no sex, and as it is necessary for 
them to develop themselves in every direction. Both 
sexes, as well as every variety of social position, fur- 
nish them with special trials and duties and with the 
opportunity of acquiring experience. A spirit who 
has always incarnated itself as a man would only 
know what is known by men, and vice versa. 

MORAL LIKENESS 

The spirit and soul of parents are not without in- 
fluence upon the soul of their offspring after its 
birth, as they exercise on the contrary a very great 
influence upon it. As I have already told you spirits 
are made to conduce to one another's progress. To 
the spirits of the parents is confided the mission of 
developing those of their children by the training 
they give them. It is a task which is appointed to 
them, and which they cannot without guilt fail to 
fulfill. You may ask how is it that good and vir- 
tuous parents often give birth to children of perverse 
and evil nature ? In other words, how is it that good 
qualities of the parents do not always attract to them 
through sympathy a good spirit to animate their 
child. A wicked spirit may ask to be allowed to 
have virtuous parents, in the hope that their counsels 
may help to amend his ways, and God often confides 



278 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

such a one to the care of virtuous persons in order 
that he may be benefited by their affection and care. 
Parents cannot by their intentions and prayers at- 
tract a good spirit into the body of their offspring 
instead of an inferior spirit, but they can improve 
the spirit of the child whom they have brought into 
the world and who is confided to them for that pur- 
pose. It is their duty to do this, but bad children 
are often sent as a trial for the improvement of the 
parents also. The similarity of character often no- 
ticed among brothers and sisters, especially so be- 
tween twins, is owing to the sympathy of two spirits 
who have been attracted by the similarity of their 
sentiments and who desire to be together and who 
are thus made happy. Aversion is sometimes felt 
between brothers and sisters and twins for one 
another owing to the fact that the bad spirits have 
been brought into this relation to improve them. 
Spirits constitute different families, formed by the 
similarity of their tendencies, which are more or less 
purified according to their elevation. Each body is 
a great family formed by the assembling together 
of sympathetic spirits. The tendency of the mem- 
bers of these families to unite together is the source 
of the resemblance which constitutes the distinctive 
character of each people. Do you suppose that good 
and benevolent spirits would seek to incarnate them- 
selves among rude and brutal people. No, spirits 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 279 

sympathize with masses of men as they sympathize 
with individuals. They go to the region of the earth 
with which they are most in harmony. 



CHAPTER XV. 

LOSS OF THOSE WE LOVE 

Many think that the loss through death of a loved 
one who is near and dear to us is a legitimate 
source of sorrow, as this loss is both irreparable and 
independent of our action, but this cause for an event 
of great sorrow, which acts alike upon the rich and 
poor, is the common law of humanity, for it is either 
a trial or an expiation, but you have the consolation 
of holding communication with your friends through 
the means already possessed by you, while awaiting 
other means that will be more direct and more ac- 
cessible to your senses. There are many who think 
that spirit communication with the souls of the dead 
is a profanation, but these wise ones should learn 
that there can be no sin or wrong where there is 
reverent concentration of thought and sympathy and 
when spirits are invoked or conjured with fitting re- 
spect there is no sin, and the proof of this statement 
is found in the fact that the spirits who love you take 
pleasure in coming to you; they rejoice in being 
remembered by you and in being able to converse 
with you. But there would be profanation in this 



282 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

communication if carried on in a spirit of frivolity. 
Again the possibility of entering into communication 
with spirits is most consoling, since it gives us the 
means of holding converse with those of relatives 
and friends who have quitted the earthly life before 
us. By our evocation we draw them nearer to us; 
they come to our side, hear us and reply to us ; there 
is, so to say, no longer any separation between them 
and us. They aid us with their counsels, and assure 
us of the pleasure afforded them by our remem- 
brance. It is a satisfaction for us to know that they 
are happy to learn from themselves the details of 
their new existence, and to acquire the certainty of 
our rejoining them in our turn. The effect of the in- 
consolable sorrow of those who survive their loved 
ones is very disappointing to a spirit or soul which 
has passed out of the body; of course every spirit 
and soul is touched by the remembrance of sorrow 
and regret of those whom it has loved during its 
earth life; but a persistent and unreasonable sorrow 
affects him painfully, because he sees, in this exces- 
sive grief, a want of faith in the future and of confi- 
dence in God, and consequently, an obstacle to the 
advancement of the mourner, and, perhaps, to their 
reunion. 

A spirit when disincarnated, being happier than 
he was upon the earth, to regret his change of life is 
to regret his being happy. Two friends are prison- 



SOUL REINCAENATION. 283 

ers, shut up in the same dungeon ; both of them are 
some day to be set at liberty, but one of them obtains 
his deliverance before the other. Would it be kind 
on the part of him who remains in prison to regret 
that his friend has been set at liberty before him? 
Would there not be on his part more selfishness than 
affection in wishing his friend to remain in captivity 
and suffering as long as himself? It is the same 
with two persons who love one another upon the 
earth ; he who quits it first is the first delivered ; and 
the other ought to rejoice in his deliverance, while 
awaiting with patience the moment when he shall be 
delivered in his turn. 

We may illustrate this subject by another com- 
parison. You have a friend whose situation, while 
remaining near you, is a painful one; his health or 
his interests require that he should go to another 
country, where he will be better off in every respect. 
He will no longer be near you at every moment, but 
you will be still in correspondence with him ; the sep- 
aration between you will be only in your daily life. 
Should you grieve for his removal, since it is for his 
good ? 

By the evident proofs which it gives us of the real- 
ity of the future life, and of the presence about us 
and the continued affection and solicitude of those 
we have loved, as well as by the relations which it 
enables us to keep up with them, Spiritism offers us 



284 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

the most effectual consolation under the greatest and 
most painful of earthly sorrows; it does away with 
solitude and separation, for it shows us that the most 
isolated of human beings is always surrounded by a 
host of friends, with whom he can hold affectionate 
converse. 

We are often impatient under the tribulations of 
life ; they seem to us so intolerable that we cannot be- 
lieve it to be possible for us to bear up under 
them ; and yet, if we have borne them with courage, 
if we have been able to silence our murmurings, we 
shall rejoice to have undergone them, when we have 
finished our earthly career, as the patient rejoices, 
when convalescent, to have resigned himself to the 
painful course of treatment that has cured him of his 
malady. 



286 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 



THE ANCIENT ADEPT. 

An Adept unto his Chelas long endeared, 

In teachings Ancient, whose striking, snowy beard 

Flows o'er his Robes, whose intelligent face add 

To dignity; in robes of Occult clad, 

In duty to fulfill an Ancient Obligation, 

Of Spirits law, — ere man's declaration, 

Or joining issues, that the Adept should stand, 

To give Occult teachings of spiritual Peace. 

— Dr. de Laurence. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

RESURRECTION OF THE BODY 

The doctrine of the resurrection of the body is an 
implication of that of reincarnation, as now taught 
by spirits, for it could not be otherwise, and it is in 
regard to that expression as to many others and only 
appear unreasonable because they are taken literally,, 
and are thus placed beyond the pale of credibility ; 
let them only be rationally explained, and those 
whom you call free-thinkers will admit them with- 
out difficulty, precisely because they are accustomed 
to reflect. Free-thinkers, like the rest of the world, 
perhaps even more than others, thirst for a future; 
they ask nothing better than to believe, but they can- 
not admit what is disproved of by science. The doc- 
trine of the plurality of existence is conformable with 
the justice of God ; it alone can explain what, with- 
out it, is inexplicable ; how can you doubt, then, that 
its principle is to be found in all religions? 

Orthodox religion teaches the dogma of the resur- 
rection of the body, but in reality it teaches the 
doctrine of reincarnation. This is very evident, but 
the Western Church will soon see that the reincarna- 



288 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

tion of the soul is implied in every part of the Holy 
Scriptures, for Spirits do not come to overthrow re- 
ligion by their teachings as many assert. They 
come, on the contrary, to confirm it and sanction 
it by irrefragable proofs. Spirits invoked by the 
Hindus renounce the use of figurative language, 
they speak without allegories, and give to every 
statement a clear and precise meaning that obviates 
all danger of false interpretation. For this reason 
there will be, ere long, a greater number of persons 
sincerely religious and really believing than are to 
be found at the present day. 

Physical Science demonstrates the impossibility of 
resurrection according to the common idea. If the 
relics of the human body remained homogeneous, 
even though dispersed and reduced to powder, we 
might conceive the possibility of their being reunited 
at some future time ; but such is not the case. The 
body is formed of various elements — oxygen, hydro- 
gen, azote, carbon, etc., and these elements, being 
dispersed, serve to form new bodies, so that the 
same molecule of carbon, for example, will have en- 
tered into the composition of many thousands of dif- 
ferent bodies (we speak only of human bodies, with- 
out counting those of animals) ; such and such an 
individual may have, in his body, molecules that were 
in the bodies of men of the earliest ages; and the 
very same organic molecules that you have this day 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 289 

observed in your blood may have come from the body 
of some one whom you have known; and so on. 
Matter being finite in quantity, and its transforma- 
tions being infinite in number, how is it possible that 
the innumerable bodies formed out of it should be 
reconstituted with the same elements? Such a re- 
construction is a physical impossibility. The resur- 
rection of the body can, therefore, be rationally 
admitted only as a figure of speech, symbolizing the 
fact of reincarnation; thus interpreted, it has in it 
nothing repugnant to reason, nothing contrary to the 
data of physical science. 

THEOLOGICAL DOGMA 

It is true that, according to the theological dogma, 
this resurrection is not to take place until the "Last 
Day," while, according to spiritist doctrine, it takes 
place every day; but is not this picture of "The Last 
Day Judgment' a grand and noble metaphor, imply- 
ing, under the veil of allegory, one of those im- 
mutable truths that will no longer be met with in- 
credulity when restored to their true meaning? To 
those who carefully ponder the spiritist theory of the 
future destiny of souls, and of the fate that awaits 
them as the result of the various trials they have to 
undergo, it will be apparent that, with the exception 
of the condition of simultaneousness, the judgment 
which condemns or absolves them is not a fiction, as 

19 



290 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

is supposed by unbelievers. It is also to be remarked 
that the judgment which assigns to each soul its next 
place of habitation is the natural consequence of the 
plurality of worlds, now generally admitted; while, 
according to the doctrine of the "Last Judgment/' 
the earth is supposed to be the only inhabited world. 



THE DISCIPLE OF OCCULTISM. 



U I recognize a power, subtle, deep, 
Disturbing, and aggressive, which shall sweep, 
All Materialism down!' 
A strange power through me thrilling, 
Almost too marvelous to litter, filling 
My heart with awe; a reverence o'er me stealing 
For what I see before, quite clear revealing 
That I y to-day, upon the threshold standing 
Of some new era, change complete demanding, 
In methods old, of thought; and this assembling, 
From. Spirit life, shows human creeds are trem- 
bling; 
My soul quivers, the material bonds are breaking, 
Occult Powers are hastening; history is making. 
— Dr. de Laurence. 



DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 



OCCULT TEACHINGS. 

The Occult teachings of India's former dispensa- 
tion, 

The History of Thibet, India and China's conser- 
vatism, 

Their origin and future, have outlined 

With no Occult Knowledge undefined. 

— Dr. de Laurence. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

EARTHLY JOYS AND SORROWS 

Human souls during their existence on the Earth 
Plane are often the cause and in reality are the 
artisans of their own bodily afflictions and affections ; 
they are also the instigators and the artisans of their 
moral sufferings. Even more so, for their worldly 
sufferings are often independent of their action; but 
it is wounded pride, disappointed ambition, the anx- 
ieties of avarice, envy, jealousy, all the passions, in 
short, that constitute the torments of the soul. 

Envy and jealousy! Happy are they who know 
not those two gnawing worms. Where envy and 
jealousy exist, there can be no calm, no repose. Be- 
fore him who is the slave of those passions, the ob- 
jects of his longings, of his hatreds, of his anger, 
stand like so many phantoms, pursuing him without 
respite, even in his sleep. The envious and jealous 
are always in a fever. Is such a state a desirable 
one? Can you not understand that, with such pas- 
sions, man creates for himself the most terrible tor- 
tures, and that the earth really becomes a hell for 
him? 



294 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

Many of our colloquial expressions present vivid 
pictures of the effects of the different passions. We 
say, "puffed up with pride," "dying with envy," 
"bursting with spite," "devoured by jealousy," pic- 
tures that are only too true to their originals. 
In many cases, these evil passions have no determi- 
nate object. There are persons, for instance, who 
are naturally jealous of every one who rises, of 
everything that oversteps the common line, even 
when their own interest is in no way concerned, and 
simply because they are not able to command a sim- 
ilar success. Every manifestation of superiority on 
the part of others is regarded by them as an offense 
to themselves; for the jealousy of mediocrity would 
always, if it could, bring every one down to its own 
level. 

DISAPPOINTED AMBITION 

Much of the unhappiness of human life is a result 
of the undue importance attached by man to the 
things of this world; vanity, disappointed ambition, 
and cupidity, make up no small part of his troubles. 
If he placed his aims beyond the narrow circle of his 
outer life, if he raised his thoughts toward the in- 
finite that is his destiny, the vicissitudes of human 
existence would seem to him as petty and puerile as 
the broken toy over the loss of which the child weeps 
so bitterly. He who finds his happiness only in the 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 295 

satisfaction of pride and of gross material appetites, 
is unhappy when he cannot satisfy them; while he 
who asks for no superfluities is happy under circum- 
stances that would be deemed calamitous by others. 
We are now speaking of the civilized people, for the 
savage, having fewer wants, has not the same incite- 
ments to envy and anxiety; his way of looking at 
things is altogether different. In the civilized state, 
man reasons upon and analyzes his unhappiness, and 
is therefore all the more painfully affected by it ; but 
he may also reason upon and analyze the means of 
consolation within his reach. This consolation is 
furnished him by Christianity, which gives him the 
hope of a better future, and by Spiritism, which 
gives him the certainty of that future. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

PARADISE, HELL AND PURGATORY 

The joys and sorrows of spirits are inherent in the 
degree of perfection at which they have arrived. 
Each spirit finds in himself the principal of his hap- 
piness or unhappiness; and, as spirits are every- 
where, no enclosed or circumscribed place is set apart 
for either the one or the other. As for incarnated 
spirits, they are more or less happy or unhappy, ac- 
cording as the world they inhabit is more or less 
advanced. 

"Heaven" and "Hell," as men have imagined 
them, have no existence; they are only symbols; 
there are happy and unhappy spirits everywhere. 
Nevertheless, as I have told you, spirits of the same 
order are brought together by sympathy ; but, when 
they are perfect, they can meet together wherever 
they will. 

The localization of rewards and punishments in 
fixed places exists only in man's imagination ; it pro- 
ceeds from his tendency to materialize and to cir- 
cumscribe the things of which he cannot comprehend 
the essential infinitude. The word purgatory in its 



298 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

true meaning refers to the physical and moral suffer- 
ing of man on the earth plane, and is the period of 
expiation, for it is generally the rule that man is 
forced to undergo purgatory and to expiate his 
wrongdoing while in the physical body. 

What men call purgatory is also a figure of speech, 
that should be understood as signifying, not any 
determinate place, but the state of imperfect spirits 
who have to expiate their faults until they have at- 
tained the complete purification that will raise them 
to the state of perfect blessedness. As this purificar 
tion is effected by means of various incarnations, 
purgatory consists in the trials of corporeal life. 

Many may ask why spirits who seem to be of high 
degree reply according to the commonly received 
ideas of those who question them, in the most seri- 
ous spirit concerning hell and purgatory. The rea- 
son of this is that when the latter are too fully im- 
bued with preconceived ideas they do not care to 
interrupt their convictions, for if a spirit should tell 
a Mussulman, without proper precaution, that Ma- 
homet was not a true prophet, he would not be lis- 
tened to with much cordiality. 

Such precautions are conceivable on the part of 
spirits who wish to instruct us; but how is it, you 
may ask, that others, when questioned as to their 
situation, have replied that they were suffering the 
tortures of hell or of purgatory? 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 299 

Spirits of inferior advancement, who are not yet 
completely dematerialized, retain a portion of their 
earthly ideas, and describe their impressions by 
means of terms that are familiar to them. They are 
in a state that allows of their obtaining only a very 
imperfect foresight of the future; for which reason 
it often happens that spirits in erraticity, or but re- 
cently freed from their earthly body, speak just as 
they would have done during their earthly life. Hell 
may be understood as meaning a life of extremely 
painful trial, with uncertainty as to the future at- 
tainment of any better state ; and purgatory as a life 
that is also one of trial, but with the certainty of a 
happier future. Do you not say, when undergoing 
any intense physical or mental distress, that you are 
suffering "the tortures of the damned ?" But such 
an expression is only a figure of speech, and is al- 
ways employed as such. 

There is no such a given place as Heaven as this 
term is understood by the western people, for do you 
suppose it to be a place like the Elysian Fields of the 
ancients, where all good spirits are crowded together 
pell-mell, with no other care than that of enjoying, 
throughout eternity, a passive felicity? No; it is 
universal space; it is the planets, the stars, and all 
the worlds of high degree, in which spirits are in the 
enjoyment of all their faculties, without having the 
tribulations of material life, or the sufferings inner- 



300 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

ent in the state of inferiority. Many people ask the 
spirit in which Heaven it dwells because they them- 
selves have the idea of several Heavens placed one 
above the other like the stories of a house, and they 
therefore answer you according to your question and 
your own ideas, but for them the different Heavens 
express different degrees and grades of purification 
of the soul and consequently different degrees and 
grades of happiness and purity. 

It is the same when you ask a spirit whether he 
is in hell; if he is unhappy. He will say "yes," be- 
cause, for him, hell is synonymous with suffering; 
but he knows very well that it is not a furnace. A 
Pagan would have replied that he was in Tartarus. 

The same may be said in regard to other expres- 
sions of a similar character, such as "the city of 
flowers," "the city of the elect," the first, second, 
or third "sphere," etc., which are only allegorical, 
and employed by some spirits figuratively, by others 
from ignorance of the reality of things, or even of 
the most elementary principles of natural science. 

According to the restricted idea formerly enter- 
tained in regard to the localities of rewards and pun- 
ishments, and to the common belief that the earth 
was the center of the universe, that the sky formed 
a vault overhead, and that there was a specific re- 
gion of stars, men placed Heaven up above, and Hell . 
down below; hence the expressions to "ascend into 



SOUL EEINCABNATION. 30l 

heaven," to be in "the highest heaven," to be "cast 
down into hell," etc. Now that astronomy having 
traced up the earth's history and described its con- 
stitution, has shown us that it is one of the smallest 
worlds that circulate in space and devoid of any 
special importance, that space is infinite, and that 
there is neither "up" nor "down" in the universe, 
men have been obliged to cease placing heaven above 
the clouds, and hell in the "lower parts of the earth." 
As for purgato?y, no fixed place was ever assigned 
to it. 

RESERVED FOR SPIRITISM 

It was reserved for spiritism to give, in regard 
to all these points, an explanation which is at once, 
and in the highest degree, rational, sublime, and 
consoling, by showing us that we have in ourselves 
our "hell" and our "heaven," and that we find our 
"purgatory" in the state of incarnation, in our suc- 
cessive corporeal or physical lives. 

Goodness will reign upon the earth when, among 
the spirits who come to dwell in it, the good shall be 
more numerous than the bad; for they will then 
bring in the reign of love and justice, which are the 
source of good and of happiness. It is through 
moral progress and practical conformity with the 
laws of God, that men will attract to the earth good 
spirits, who will keep bad ones away from it; but 



302 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

the latter will not definitively quit the earth until 
its people shall be completely purified from pride and 
selfishness. 

The transformation of the human race has been 
predicted from the most ancient times, and you are 
now approaching the period when it is destined to 
take place. All those among you who are laboring 
to advance the progress of mankind are helping to 
hasten this transformation, which will be effected 
through the incarnation, in your earth, of spirits of 
higher degree, who will constitute a new population, 
of greater moral advancement than the human races 
they will gradually have replaced. The spirits of 
the wicked people who are mowed down each day by 
death, and of all who endeavor to arrest the onward 
movement, will be excluded from the earth, and com- 
pelled to incarnate themselves elsewhere; for they 
would be out of place among those nobler races of 
human beings; whose felicity would be impaired by 
their presence among them. They will be sent into 
newer worlds, less advanced than the earth, and will 
therein fulfill hard and laborious missions, which will 
furnish them with the means of advancing, while 
contributing also to the advancement of their breth- 
ren of those younger worlds, less advanced than 
themselves. Do you not see, in this exclusion of 
backward spirits from the transformed and regen- 
erated earth, the true significance of the sublime 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 303 

myth of the driving out of the first pair from the 
garden of Eden? And do you not also see, in the 
advent of the human race upon the earth, under the 
conditions of such an exile, and bringing within 
itself the germs of its passions and the evidences of 
its primitive inferiority, the real meaning of that 
other myth, no less sublime, of the fall of those first 
parents, entailing the sinfulness of their descend- 
ants? "Original Sin," considered from this point 
of view, is seen to consist of the imperfection of hu- 
man nature; and each of the spirits subsequently 
incarnated in the human race is therefore responsi- 
ble only for his own imperfection and his own 
wrongdoing, and not for those of his forefathers. 

Devote yourselves, then, with zeal and courage, 
to the great work of regeneration, all you who are 
possessed of faith and good will; you will reap a 
hundred fold for all the seed you sow. "Woe to 
those who close their eyes against the light; for they 
will have condemned themselves to long ages of 
darkness and sorrow." "Woe to those who center 
their enjoyment in the "pleasures of the earthly life; 
for they will find none to aid them in bearing the 
burden of their future misery" 



CHAPTER XIX. 

SUICIDE 

Suicide is caused by that peculiar mental state 
which sometimes takes possession of an individual 
without any assignable reason, but as a rule it is 
brought about through idleness and an abnormal 
desire to escape the trials of life ; but the person who 
employs himself in the pursuit of some useful aim in 
harmony and in keeping with his natural aptitudes 
this exertion is not disagreeable and his life passes 
quickly in a congenial occupation and he bears with 
favor the vicissitudes of life, as he has plenty of 
patience and recognition, for he looks forward to the 
things in life and his future existence of spirit life. 
No person has a right to take their own life, for that 
right belongs to God exclusive; and he who volun- 
tarily commits suicide contravenes the providential 
ordering which sent him into earth life. Those who 
take their own life because they are tired of living, 
have made a sad mistake, for if they had employed 
themselves in some kind of work their life would 
never had become a burden to them. There is only 
one opinion to be expressed in regard to those per- 



306 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

sons who resort to suicide in order to escape from 
the troubles, disappointments and responsibilities of 
earth life, for they are weak ones who lack courage 
to bear up under the necessary annoyances that earth 
life always brings. The good spirits of the Astral 
Plane ever encourage and assist those who bravely 
bear their trials and sufferings, as well as disappoint- 
ments, for the tribulation of life are trials and ex- 
pirations; and happy will be those who bear them 
without complaint, and great will be their reward. 
On the contrary, miserable will be those who expect 
to be fortunate from what they impiously call good 
luck. Fortune and luck may favor man for a time, 
but he is made to feel it afterwards all the more 
bitterly. Those who have driven their unhappy fel- 
low beings to suicide and have been the cause of 
their committing this great deed of despair will be 
held responsible for the consequence of their work 
and terrible indeed will be their punishment, for they 
will have to answer for their fellow creature's life 
the same as for murder. Further it is not well for a 
man to become disheartened in his struggle against 
adversity and allow himself to die of a broken heart 
or despair. 

SELF-ABANDONMENT 

Such self-abandonment is suicide; but those who 
had caused the crime, or might have prevented it, 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 307 

would be more to blame for it than the one by whom 
it had been committed, and the latter would there- 
fore be judged leniently. But, nevertheless, you 
must not suppose that he would be entirely absolved 
if he had been wanting in firmness and perseverance, 
or had failed to make the best use of his intelligence 
to help himself out of the difficulties. And it would 
go still harder with him if he had been one of these 
whose intelligence is paralyzed by pride, who would 
blush to earn their living by manual labor, and would 
rather die of starvation than derogate from what 
they call their "social position.'* Is there not a hun- 
dred fold more nobleness and true dignity in bearing 
up against adversity, in braving the ill natured re- 
marks of the futile and selfish, whose good will is 
for those zvho are in want of nothing, and who turn 
the cold shoulder to all who are in need of help? 
To throw away one's life on account of such people 
is doubly absurd, seeing that they will be perfectly 
indifferent to the sacrifice. 

Those who take their own life to escape the dis- 
grace of having done wrong is as guilty as the one 
who has been prompted by despair, for their guilt 
and fault is not wiped out or overlooked by suicide, 
which, on the contrary, is a second fault added to the 
first one. He who has had the courage to do wrong 
should have the courage to bear the consequences 
of his wrongdoing. God is the sole judge, and 



308 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

sometimes diminishes the penalty of wrongdoing in 
consideration of the circumstances which led to it. 
Neither is suicide condoned or excused when com- 
mitted in order to avoid bringing disgrace upon one's 
parent, or when the parent commits this great deed 
of despair to avoid bringing disgrace on their chil- 
dren or family, and he who has recourse to such an 
expedient commits his sin. But as he may believe 
his actions to be for the best, God takes note of his 
intention, for his suicide is a self-imposed expiation ; 
his fault is extenuated by his intention, but is none 
the less a fault. When you have got rid of your 
social prejudices and abuses, you will have no more 
suicides. 

The person who takes his own life in order to 
escape the disgrace of a bad action, proves that he 
attaches more value to the estimation of men than to 
that of God, for he goes back into the spirit-world 
laden with iniquities, destitute of the means of aton- 
ing that for which, during his earthly life, he has 
thus deprived himself. God is less inexorable than 
men often are; He pardons those who sincerely re- 
pent, and takes account of all our efforts to repair 
what we have done amiss ; but nothing is repaired by 
suicide. 

He who takes his own life in the hope of arriving 
the quicker at a happier state of existence, commits a 
serious folly; for let a man do good, and he will 



SOUL KEINCABNATION. 309 

be much more sure of reaching this state. His sui- 
cide will delay his entrance into a better world, for 
he himself will ask to be allowed to come back to 
the earth, in order to complete the life that he has 
cut short in pursuit of a mistaken idea. The sanc- 
tuary of the good is never opened by a fault, no mat- 
ter what may have been its motive. The sacrifice of 
one's life is meritorious when it is made in order to 
save the lives of others, or to be useful to them, and 
when incurred for such an end it is sublime; but 
such a voluntary sacrifice of life is not suicide. It 
is the useless sacrifice that is displeasing to God, and 
also that which is tarnished by pride. A sacrifice is 
only meritorious when disinterested; if accom- 
plished in view of a selfish end, its value is propor- 
tionately lessened in the sight of God. 

Every sacrifice of our own interest or enjoyment 
made for the sake of others is supremely meritorious 
in the sight of God, for it is the fulfilling of the law 
of charity. Life, being of all earthly possessions, the 
one to which men attach the greatest value, he who 
renounces it for the good of his fellow creatures does 
not commit a crime ; he accomplishes a sacrifice. But, 
before accomplishing it, he should consider whether 
his life might not be more useful than his death. 



310 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

CONSEQUENCES OF SUICIDE 
The consequences of suicide vary in different 
cases, because the penalties it entails are always pro- 
portioned to the circumstances which, in each case, 
have led to its commission. The one punishment 
which none can escape who have committed suicide, 
is disappointment; the rest of their punishment de- 
pends on circumstances. Some of those who have 
killed themselves expiate their fault at once; others 
do so in a new earthly life harder to bear than the 
one whose course they have interrupted. 

My observation has confirmed the statement that 
the consequences of suicide are not the same in all 
cases; but it has also shown me that some of those 
consequences, resulting from the sudden interruption 
of life, are the same in all cases of violent death. 
Foremost among these is the greater tenacity and 
consequent persistence of the link that unites the 
spirit and the body, which link, in nearly all cases, 
is in its full strength at the moment when it is 
broken ; whereas, when death is the result of natural 
causes, that link has been gradually weakened, and 
is often severed before life is completely extinct. 
The consequences of violent death are, first, the 
prolongation of the mental confusion which usually 
follows death ; next, the illusion which causes a spirit 
during a longer or shorter period, to believe himself 
to be still living in the earthly life. 



SOUL REINCAKNATION. 311 

The affinity which continues to exist between the 
spirit and the body, produces, in the case of some of 
those who have committed suicide, a sort of putrefi- 
cation of the state of the body in the consciousness 
of the spirit, who is thus compelled to perceive the 
effects of its decomposition, and experiences there- 
from a sensation of intense anguish and horror; 
which state may continue as long as the life which 
he has interrupted ought to have lasted. This state 
is not a necessary result of suicide, but he who has 
voluntarily shortened his life can never escape the 
consequences of his want of courageous endurance ; 
sooner or later, and in some way or other, he is made 
to expiate his fault. Thus, many spirits committed 
suicide in their preceding existence, and that they 
had voluntarily submitted to new trials in order to 
try to bear them with more resignation. In some 
cases the result of suicide is a sort of connection 
with terrestrial matter, from which they vainly en- 
deavor to free themselves, that they may rise to 
happier worlds, access to which is denied to them. 
In other cases it is regret for having done something 
useless, and from which they have reaped only dis- 
appointment. 

Religion, Morality, Eastern Occultism and all sys- 
tems of Philosophy, regard suicide as being contrary 
to the law of nature; all lay down as a principle 
that we have no right to voluntarily shorten our life ; 



312 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

but why have we not that right ? Why are we not at 
liberty to put an end to our sufferings? It was re- 
served for Hindu Spiritism to show, by the example 
of those who have succumbed to that temptation, that 
suicide is not only a fault, as being an infraction of 
a moral law (a consideration of little weight with 
some persons), but is also a piece of stupidity, since 
no benefit is to be gained by it, but quite the con- 
trary. The teachings of Hindu Spiritism in regard 
to this subject are not merely theoretic, for it places 
the facts of the case before your eyes. 

A person who becomes a victim to the excessive 
indulgence of his passion, which he knows is a phys- 
ical necessity which he is able to control, commits 
moral suicide; for do you not see that such a man 
or woman is trebly guilty ? For they are guilty of a 
want of firmness, of a sin of bestiality and of forget- 
fulness of purity of mind, and such a man is more 
guilty than he who commits suicide or takes his life 
outright, for he has time to reflect on the suicidal 
nature of the action he is pursuing. In the case of 
him who commits suicide on the spur of the moment, 
there is sometimes a degree of bewilderment, not 
unallied to madness. The former will be punished 
much more severely than the latter ; for the retribu- 
tive penalties of crime are always proportioned to the 
consciousness of wrongdoing that accompanied its 
commission. 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 313 

Those persons who take their own life because of 
the death of some loved one, in the hope of rejoin- 
ing them in spirit life, commit an act that is strictly 
opposite of that which is hoped for and instead of 
being reunited to the object of their affection, those 
who have made this sad mistake find themselves sep- 
arated, and for a very long time, from the being they 
hoped to rejoin; for God cannot recompense by the 
granting of a favor an act which is at once a proof 
of moral cowardice, and an insult offered to Himself 
in distrusting His Providence. They will pay for 
their folly with sorrows still greater than those they 
fancied they were about to shorten, and for which 
they will not be compensated by the satisfaction they 
hoped to obtain. 



CHAPTER XX. 

EVIL PASSIONS 

Every person should understand that the Passions 
have their origin in man's nature, but they are not 
evil of themselves; for it is only by induling to ex- 
cess that they become evil, for excess implies a per- 
version of the will. But the principal of all man's 
passions has been given to man for his good, and 
they may spur him onto the accomplishment of great 
things. It is only their abuse that does harm. No 
person should give themselves up to sensuality for 
the passions are like a horse that is useful when 
under control, but dangerous when it obtains the 
mastery. A passion becomes pernicious the moment 
when you cease to govern it, and when it causes an 
injury to yourselves or to others. 

The passions are levers that increase man's pow- 
ers tenfold, and aid him in the accomplishment of 
the designs of Providence; but if, instead of ruling 
them, he allows himself to be ruled by them, he falls 
into every sort of excess, and the same force which, 
held well in hand, would have been useful to him, 
falls upon and crushes him. 



316 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

All the passions have their source in a natural sen- 
timent or a natural want. They are therefore not 
evil in themselves, since they constitute one of the 
providentially-appointed conditions of our existence. 
What is usually meant by "passion" is the exagger- 
ation of a need or a sentiment. But this exaggera- 
tion is the excessive action of a motive-power, and 
not the power itself; it is this excessive action which 
becomes an evil, and leads to evil consequences of 
every kind. Every passion that brings man nearer 
to the nature of the animals takes him further from 
the spiritual nature. 

Every sentiment that raises man above the nature 
of the animals is evidence of the predominance of 
his spiritual nature over his animal nature and brings 
him nearer to perfection. Ordinarily a slight effort 
upon one's part suffices to enable him to vanquish his 
evil tendencies. Indeed, very slight effort is often 
all that is needed if man will only use his will power, 
but it is sad to state that very few make any serious 
effort whatever to vanquish his evil passion, for if he 
will make but slight effort he will obtain efficacious 
help for good spirits; or he can address a sincere 
prayer for such help to God and to his good genius. 
Good spirits will certainly come to his aid, for it is 
their mission to do so. The action and force of the 
passions are never so strong and violent that man 
will be unable to overcome them or be powerless to 



SOUL EEINCAENATION". 317 

withstand them, There are many who say "I will," 
but whose will is only on their lips, and who are not 
sorry that what they declare themselves to be an 
action of will does not take place. When a man is 
unable to vanquish his passions, it is because, 
through the backwardness of his spirit, he takes 
pleasure in yielding to them. He who controls his 
passions comprehends his spiritual nature ; he knows 
that every victory over them is a triumph of his 
spirit over matter. 

DESTRUCTIVE CALAMITIES 

The reason why God visits mankind with destruc- 
tive calamities is to make human souls advance more 
quickly, for have I not told you that destruction is 
necessary to the moral regeneration of spirits, who 
accomplish a new step of their purification in each 
new existence? In order to appreciate any process 
correctly, you must see its results. You judge 
merely from your personal point of view, and you 
therefore regard those inflictions as calamities, be- 
cause of the temporary injury they cause you; but 
such upsettings are often needed in order to make 
you reach more quickly a better order of things, and 
to effect, in a few years, what you would otherwise 
have taken centuries to accomplish. 

God employs many other methods besides destruc- 
tive calamities for effecting the amelioration of man- 



318 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

kind. Yes ; and he employs them every day, for He 
has given to each of you the means of progressing 
through the knowledge of good and evil. It is be- 
cause man profits so little by those other means, 
that it becomes necessary to chastise his pride, and 
to make him feel his weakness. 

But the good man succumbs under the action of 
these scourges as does the wicked ; is this just ? you 
may ask. 

During the earthly sojourn, man measures every- 
thing by the standard of his bodily life; but, after 
death, he judges differently and feels that the life 
of the body, as I have often told you, is a very small 
matter. A century in your world is but the length 
of a flash in eternity, and therefore the sufferings of 
what you call days, months, or years, are of no im- 
portance; let this be a lesson for your future use. 
Spirits are the real world, pre-existent to, and sur- 
viving, everything else ; they are the children of God, 
and the object of all His solicitude; and bodies are 
only the disguises under which they make their ap- 
pearances in the corporeal world. In the great calam- 
ities that decimate the human race, the sufferers are 
like an army that, in the course of a campaign, sees 
its clothing tattered, worn out, or lost. The general 
is more anxious about his soldiers than about their 
coats. 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 319 

But the victims of those scourges are none the less 
victims, you say. If you considered an earthly life 
as it is in itself, and how small a thing it is in com- 
parison with the life of infinity, you would attach 
to it much less importance. Those victims will find, 
in another existence, an ample compensation for 
their sufferings, if they have borne them without 
murmuring. 

Whether our death be the result of a public calam- 
ity or of an ordinary cause, we are none the less 
compelled to go when the hour of our departure has 
struck; the only difference is that, in the former 
case, a greater number go away at the same time. If 
we could raise our thoughts sufficiently high to con- 
template the human race as a whole, and to take in 
the whole of its destiny at a glance, the scourges that 
now seem so terrible would appear to us only as 
passing storms in the destiny of the globe. 



CHAPTER XXL 

SELFISHNESS 

Selfishness is considered the cardinal sin among 
all vices and may be regarded as the root and origin 
of them; for from selfishness everything evil pro- 
ceeds and if you study the sins and vices of man- 
kind you will see that selfishness is at the bottom of 
them all and you may combat sin and vice as you will 
and you will never succeed in extirpating them un- 
til, attacking the evil in its roots, you have destroyed 
the selfishness which is their cause. Let all your 
efforts tend to this end ; for selfishness is the verita- 
ble social gangrene. Whoever would make, even in 
his earthly life, some approach towards moral excel- 
lence, must root out every selfish feeling from his 
heart, for selfishness is incompatible with justice, 
love, and charity; it neutralizes every good quality. 
In proportion as men become enlightened in regard 
to spiritual things, they attach less value to ma- 
terial things; and as they emancipate themselves 
from the thraldom of matter, they reform the hu- 
man institutions by which selfishness is fostered and 
excited. Such should be the aim of education. 



322 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

It is certain that selfishness is man's greatest evil ; 
but it belongs to the inferiority of the spirits incar- 
nated upon the earth, and not to the human race as 
such, and consequently, those spirits, in purifying 
themselves by successive incarnations, get rid of 
their selfishness as they do of their other impurities. 
Have you, upon the earth, none who have divested 
themselves of selfishness, and who practice charity? 
There are more of such than you think, but they are 
little known, for virtue does not seek to display itself 
in the glare of popularity. If there is one such 
among you, why should there not be ten, why should 
there not be a thousand, and so on ? 

The greater the development of an evil, the more 
hideous is it seen to be. It was necessary for selfish- 
ness to do a vast amount of harm in order that you 
might see the necessity of extirpating it. When men 
shall have divested themselves of selfishness, they 
will live like brothers, doing each other no harm, but 
mutually aiding each other from a sentiment of 
solidarity. The strong will then be the support, and 
not the oppressor, of the weak; and none will lack 
the necessaries of life, because the law of justice 
will be obeyed by all. It is of this reign of justice 
that spirits are now charged to prepare the advent. 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 323 

SPIRITISM COMBATS SELFISHNESS 

-Of all human imperfections, the most difficult to 
root out is selfishness, because it is connected with 
the influence of matter, of which man, still too near 
his origin, has not yet been able to enfranchise him- 
self, and which his laws, his social organization, his 
education, all tend to maintain. Selfishness will be 
gradually weakened as your moral life obtains pre- _ 
dominance over your material life, through the 
knowledge which spiritism gives you of the reality 
of your future state, stripped of allegoric fables. 
Spiritism, when it comes to be rightly understood, 
and identified with the beliefs and habits of the 
human race, will transform all your customs, usages, 
and social relations. Selfishness is based on the im- 
portance you attribute to your own personality; 
spiritism, on the contrary, when rightly understood, 
causes you to look at everything from a point of view 
so elevated that the sentiment of personality is lost, 
so to say, in the contemplation of immensity. In 
destroying the sentiment of self-importance, by 
showing its real nature, spiritism necessarily com- 
bats selfishness. 

Man is often rendered selfish by his experience of 
the selfishness of others, which makes him feel the 
need of defending himself against them. Seeing 
that others think of themselves and not of him he 



m DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

is led to think of himself rather than of others. But 
let the principle of charity and fraternity become the 
basis of social institution, of the legal relations be- 
tween nation and nation and between man and man, 
and each individual will think less of his own per- 
sonal interests, because he will see that these have been 
thought by others ; he will experience the moralizing 
influence of examples and of contact. Amidst the 
present overflow of selfishness, much virtue is needed 
to enable a man to sacrifice his own interests for the 
sake of others, who often feel but little gratitude for 
such abnegation ; but it is above all to those who pos- 
sess this virtue that the Kingdom of Heaven is 
opened, and the happiness of the elect assured ; while, 
at the day of judgment, whoever has thought only 
of himself will be set aside, and left to suffer from 
his loneliness. 

Laudable efforts are made to help forward the 
progress of the human race; the generous sentiments 
are encouraged, stimulated, honored, more than has 
been the case at any former epoch, and yet the de- 
vouring worm of selfishness is still the pest and tor- 
ment of society. It is a social disease that affects 
every one, and of which every one is more or less 
the victim; it should therefore be combated as we 
combat any other epidemic. To this end we must 
proceed as does the physician, and begin by tracing 
the malady to its source. We should seek out, in 



SOUL EE1NCAENATION. 325 

every department of the social fabric, from the 
relationships of the family to those of nations, from 
the cottage to the palace, all the causes, all the in- 
fluences, patent or secret, that maintain and develop 
selfishness. The causes of the malady being discov- 
ered, the remedy will spontaneously present itself, 
and through the efforts of all, directed to a common 
end, the virus will gradually be extirpated. The cure 
may be slow, for the causes of the malady are many, 
but it is not impossible. It can only be effected, 
however, by going to the root of the evil, that is to 
say, by generalizing education; not the education 
which merely advances men in knowledge, but that 
which improves them morally. Education, rightly 
understood, is the key of moral progress. When the 
art of training the moral nature shall be understood 
as is the art of training the intellect, it will be pos- 
sible to straighten a crooked nature as we straighten 
a crooked sapling. But this art demands much tact, 
much experience, and profound observation; it is a 
great mistake to suppose that the possession of scien- 
tific knowledge suffices to enable the teacher to exer- 
cise it with success. Whoever observes the life of 
a child, whether rich or poor, and notes all the per- 
nicious influences that act upon its weakness from 
the moment of its birth, the ignorance and negli- 
gence of those who have charge of it, and the mis- 
chievous tendency of many of the means employed 



326 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

with a view to moralize it, you will not wonder that 
the world should be so full of crooked sticks. But 
let the same skill and care be given to the training of 
the moral nature as to that of the intellect, and it 
will be seen that, even should some natures prove 
refractory, the greater number only need to be suit- 
ably cultivated in order to yield good fruit. 

Man desires to be happy, and this desire, im- 
planted in him by nature, prompts him to labor un- 
ceasingly to improve his condition upon the earth, 
and to seek the cause of the evils that afflict him, in 
order to remove them. When he thoroughly com- 
prehends that selfishness is one of those causes, that 
it engenders the pride, ambition, cupidity, envy, 
hatred, jealousy, by which he is continually annoyed; 
that it brings trouble into all the social relations, 
provokes dissensions, destroys confidence, converts 
friends into foes, and obliges each individual to re- 
main constantly on the defensive against his neigh- 
bor, he will see that this vice is incompatible, not 
only with his own felicity, but even with his own 
security; and the more he has suffered from it, the 
more keenly will he feel the necessity of fighting 
against it, as he fights against pestilence, dangerous 
animals, and every other source of disaster, for he 
will be compelled to do so in view of his own 
interest. 

Selfishness is the source of all the vices, as charity 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 327 

is the source of all the virtues. To destroy the one, 
to develop the other, should be the aim of all who 
desire to insure their own happiness, in the present 
life, as in the future. 

KNOW THYSELF 

The surest and most efficacious method of insur- 
ing the moral improvement of the soul's present ex- 
istence, thereby resisting the influence and attraction 
of evil spirits, is to "Know Thyself," and this can 
only be accomplished by doing as every great Adept 
has done, for self-knowledge and the teachings of 
Eastern Occultism are only to be obtained by great 
study and meditation and any person who is in the 
least spiritually inclined will admit this truth. 
Knowledge of thyself and the development of Occult 
Powers are not difficult to acquire ; man has only to 
examine his soul at the close of each day and review 
all that he has done and accomplished, and see 
whether he has failed in, or slighted any of his stud- 
ies. It was in this way that every Adept 
has succeeded in obtaining a knowledge of him- 
self, and in ascertaining what there was in 
him that needed reforming. He who, every 
evening, should thus recall all the actions of 
the day, asking himself whether he has done ill or 
well, and praying God and his guardian angel to 
enlighten him, would acquire great strength for self- 



328 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

improvement, for, believe me, God would assist him. 
Ask yourself these questions; inquire of yourself 
what you have done, and what was your aim in act- 
ing in such a manner; whether you have done any- 
thing that you would be ashamed to avow. Ask 
yourself also this question: "If it pleased God to 
call me back, at this moment, into the other life, 
should I, on returning into the world of spirits, in 
which nothing is hidden, have to dread sight of any 
one?" Examine what you have done, first, against 
God ; next against your neighbor ; and lastly, against 
yourself. The answers to these questions will either 
give repose to your conscience, or show you some 
moral malady of which you will have to cure your- 
self. 

Self-knowledge is, therefore, the key to individual 
improvement; but, you will ask, "How is one to 
judge one's self? Is not each man subject to the 
illusions of self-love, which diminish his faults in 
his own eyes and find excuses for them ? The miser 
thinks himself to be merely practicing economy and 
foresight ; the proud man thinks his pride to be only 
dignity." This is true, but you have a means of as- 
certainment that cannot deceive you. When you are 
in doubt as to the quality of any one of your actions, 
ask yourself what would be your judgment in regard 
to it if it were done by another ? If you would blame 
it in another, it cannot be less blamable when done 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 329 

by you, for God's justice has neither two weights 
nor two measures. Endeavor also to learn what is 
thought of it by others; and do not overlook the 
opinion of your enemies, for they have no interest in 
disguising the truth, and God often places them be- 
side you as a mirror, to warn you more frankly than 
would be done by a friend. Let him, then, who is 
firmly resolved on self-improvement, examine his 
conscience in order to root out his evil tendencies, as 
he roots out the weeds from his garden; let him, 
every night, cast up his moral accounts for the day, 
as the tradesman counts up his profits and loss; he 
may be sure that the former will be a more profitable 
operation than the latter. He who, after this foot- 
ing up of his day's doings, can say that the balance 
of the account is in his favor, may sleep in peace, 
and fearlessly await the moment of his awaking 
in the other life. Let the questions you address be 
clear and precise, and do not hesitate to multiply 
them; you may well devote a few minutes to the 
securing of a happiness that will last forever. Do 
you not labor every day with a view to insuring re- 
pose for your old age? Is not this repose the object 
of your desires, the aim that prompts your endurance 
of the fatigues and privations of the moment ? But 
what comparison is there between a few days of rest, 
impaired by the infirmities of the body, and the end- 
less rest that awaits the virtuous? And is not this 



330 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

latter worth the making of a few efforts? I know 
that many will say, "The present is certain, and the 
future uncertain ;" but this is precisely the error I am 
charged to remove from your minds, by showing 
you your future in such a way as to leave no doubt 
in your minds concerning it. This is why, having 
begun by producing phenomena calculated to arrest 
your attention through their appeal to your senses, 
I now give you the moral teachings that each of you 
is charged to spread abroad in his turn. It is to this 
end that I have written "THE BOOK OF 
DEATH." 

Many of the faults you commit are passed over by 
you unperceived. If, following the advice I give 
you, you interrogated your conscience more fre- 
quently, you would see how often you have done 
wrong without being aware of it, because you have 
failed to scrutinize the nature and motive of your 
acts. The interrogative mode of self-examination 
is more precise than the mere vague admission of a 
standard of rectitude which you too often fail to 
apply in detail to your own actions. It compels you 
to give yourselves, in regard to the quality of those 
actions, categoric answers, by, "Yes and No" that 
leave you no room for equivocation, and that con- 
stitute so many personal arguments addressed to 
your innermost selves, so many returns which aid 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 331 

you to compute the sum of the good and evil is in 
you. 

ETERNAL SUFFERING 

Spirits will suffer eternally if they remain eter- 
nally wicked ; that is to say, if he were never to re- 
pent nor to amend, he would suffer eternally. But 
God has not created beings to let them remain for- 
ever a prey to evil ; He created them only in a state 
of simplicity and ignorance, and all of them must 
progress, in a longer or shorter time, according to 
the action of their will. The determination to ad- 
vance may be awakened more or less tardily, as the 
development of children is more or less precocious; 
but it will be stimulated, sooner or later, by the ir- 
resistible desire of the spirit himself to escape from 
his state of inferiority, and to be happy. The law 
which regulates the duration of a spirit's sufferings 
is, therefore, eminently wise and beneflcient, since it 
makes that duration to depend on his own efforts ; he 
is never deprived of his free will, but, if he makes a 
bad use of it, he will have to bear the consequences 
of his errors. The duration of the punishment of the 
human soul depends upon its own free will, although 
said punishment may be imposed upon it for a fixed 
time, but the Great Creator wills only the good of 
man's soul, and always welcomes his repentance and 



332 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

the desire to amend his ways, and the inflictions and 
penalties imposed upon the soul in spirit life are 
never eternal as many suppose. Those who believe 
this to be a fact, should interrogate their common 
sense and reason, and ask themselves whether an 
eternal condemnation for a few moments of error 
would not be the negation of the goodness of God? 
What, in fact, is the duration of a human life, even 
though prolonged to a hundred years, in comparison 
with eternity ? "Eternity ;" do you rightly compre- 
hend the word? Sufferings, tortures without end, 
without hope, for a few faults. Does not your judg- 
ment reject such an idea? That the ancients should 
have seen, in the Master of the Universe, a terrible, 
jealous, vindicitive God of the Christians, who places 
love, charity, pity, the forgetfulness of offenses, in 
the foremost rank of virtues, and who could not lack 
the qualities which He has made it the duty of His 
creatures to possess. Is it not a contradiction to 
attribute to Him infinite love and infinite vengeance ? 
You say that God's justice is infinite, transcending 
the limited understanding of mankind; but justice 
does not exclude kindness, and God would not be 
kind if He condemned the greater number of His 
creatures to horrible and unending punishment. 
Could He make it obligatory on His children to be 
just, if His own action towards them did not give 
them the most perfect standard of justice? And is it 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 335 

not the very sublimity of justice and of kindness to 
make the duration of punishment to depend on the 
efforts of the guilty one to amend, and to mete out 
the appropriate recompense, both for good and for 
evil, to each, according to his works? 

Set yourselves, by every means in your power, to 
combat and to annihilate the idea of eternal punish- 
ment, which is a blasphemy against the justice and 
goodness of God, and the principal source of the 
skepticism, materialism,, and indifferentism that 
have invaded the masses since their intelligence has 
begun to be developed. When once a mind has re- 
ceived enlightenment, in however slight a degree, 
the monstrous injustice of such an idea is imme- 
diately perceived; reason rejects it, and rarely fails 
to confound, in the same ostracism, the penalty 
against which it revolts and the God to whom that 
penalty is attributed. Hence the numberless ills 
which have burst upon you, and for which we come 
to bring you a remedy. This task we point out to 
you will be all the easier because the defenders of 
this belief have avoided giving a positive opinion in 
regard to it ; neither the Councils nor the Fathers of 
the Church have definitely settled this weighty ques- 
tion. If Christ, according to the Evangelists and the 
literal interpretation of His allegorical utterances, 
threatens the guilty with a fire that is unquenchable, 
there is absolutely nothing in those utterances to 



334 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

prove that they are condemned to remain in that fire 
eternally. 

Hapless sheep that have gone astray, behold, ad- 
vancing towards you, the Good Shepherd, who, so far 
from intending to drive you forever from His pres- 
ence, comes Himself to seek you, that He may lead 
you back to the fold. Prodigal children, renounce 
your voluntary exile, and turn your steps towards 
the parental dwelling. Your Father, with arms 
ready open to receive you, is waiting to welcome you 
back to your home. 

"ETERNAL PUNISHMENTS" 

"Wars of words, wars of words," has not enough 
blood been already shed for words, and must the 
fires of the stake be rekindled for them? Men dis- 
pute about the words "eternal punishments/' "ever- 
lasting burnings ;" but do you know that what you 
now understand by eternity was not understood in 
the same way by the ancients? Let the theologian 
consult the sources of his faith, and he, like the rest 
of you, will see that in the Hebrew text, the words 
which the Greeks, the Latins, and the moderns, have 
translated as endless and irremissible punishment, 
has not the same meaning. Eternity of punishment 
corresponds to eternity of evil. Yes, so long as evil 
continues to exist among you, so long will punish- 
ment continue to exist; it is in this relative sense 



SOUL EEINCAKNATION. 335 

that the sacred texts should be interpreted. The 
eternity of punishments, therefore, is not absolute, 
but relative. Let a day come when all men shall 
have donned, through repentance, the robe of inno- 
cence, and, on that day there will be no more weep- 
ing, wailing, or gnashing of teeth. Your human 
reason is, in truth, of narrow scope; but, such as it 
is, it is a gift of God, and there is no man of right 
feeling who, with the aid of that reason, can under- 
stand the eternity of punishment in any other sense. 
If we admit the eternity of punishment, we must also 
admit that evil will be eternal ; but God alone is eter- 
nal, and He could not have created an eternal evil, 
without plucking from his attributes the most mag- 
nificent of them all, viz. : His sovereign powers ; for 
he who creates an element destructive of his works 
is not sovereignly powerful. Plunge no more thy 
mournful glance, O human race, into the entrails of 
the earth, in search of chastisements. Weep, but 
hope; expiate, but take comfort in the thought of 
God who is entirely loving, absolutely powerful, es- 
sentially just. 

Union with the Divine Being is the aim of human 
existence. To the attainment of this aim three 
things are necessary — knowledge, love, justice; 
three things are contrary to this aim — ignorance, 
hatred, injustice. You are false to these funda- 
mental principles when you falsify the idea of God 



336 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

by exaggerating His severity, thus suggesting to the 
mind of the creature that there is in it more clem- 
ency, long-suffering, love, and true justice, than you 
attribute to the Creator. You destroy the very idea 
of retribution by rendering it as inadmissible, by 
your minds, as is, by your hearts, the policy of the 
Middle Ages, with its hideous array of tortures, ex- 
ecutioneers, and the stake. 

BOILING CALDRONS 

When the principle of indiscriminate retaliation 
has been banished forever from human legislation, 
can you hope to make men believe that principle to 
be the rule of the Divine Government ? Believe me, 
brothers in God and Jesus Christ, you must either 
resign yourselves to let all your dogmas perish in 
your hands rather than modify them. The idea of a 
hell full of glowing furnaces and boiling caldrons 
might be credible to an age of iron ; in the twentieth 
century it can be nothing more than an empty phan- 
tom, capable, at the utmost, of frightening little chil- 
dren, and by which the children themselves will no 
longer be frightened when they are a little bigger. 
By your persistence in upholding mythic terrors, you 
engender incredulity, source of every sort of social 
disorganization ; and I tremble at beholding the very 
foundations of social order shaken and crumbling 
into dust for want of an authoritative code of penal- 



SOUL KEINCAENATION. 337 

ity. Let all those who are animated by a living and 
ardent faith, heralds of the coming day, unite their 
efforts, not to keep up antiquated fables now fallen 
into disrepute, but to resuscitate and revivify the 
true idea of penality, under forms in harmony with 
the usages, sentiments, and enlightenment of your 
epoch. 

What, in fact, is a sinner? One who, by the 
deviation from the right road, by a false movement 
of the soul, has swerved from the true aim of his 
creation, which consists in the harmonious worship 
of the Beautiful, the Good, as embodied in the arche- 
type of humanity, the Divine Exemplar, Jesus 
Christ. 

What is chastisement? The natural, derivative 
consequence of that false movement ; the amount of 
pain necessary to disgust the sinner with his de- 
parture from rectitude, by his experience of the suf- 
fering caused by that departure. Chastisement is the 
goad which, by the smarting it occasions, decides the 
soul to cut short its wanderings, and to return into 
the right road. The sole aim of chastisement is 
rehabilitation and, therefore, to assume the eternity 
of chastisement is to deprive it of all reason for 
existing. 

Cease, I beseech you, the attempt to establish a 
parallelism of duration between good, essences of the 
Creator, and evil, essence of the creature ; for, in so 



338 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

doing, you establish a standard of penality that is 
utterly without justification. Affirm, on the con- 
trary, the gradual diminution of imperfections and 
of chastisements through successsive existences, and 
you consecrate the doctrine of the union of the crea- 
ture with the Creator by the reconciliation of justice 
with mercy. 

It is desired to stimulate men to the acquisition of 
virtue, and to turn them from vice, by the hope of 
reward and the fear of punishment; but, if the 
threatened punishment is represented under condi- 
tions repugnant to reason, not only will it fail of its 
aim, but it will lead men, in rejecting those condi- 
tions, to reject the very idea of punishment itself. 
But let the idea of future rewards and punishments 
be presented to their mind under a reasonable form, 
and they will not reject it. This reasonable explana- 
tion of the subject is given by the teachings of Hin- 
du Spiritism. 

TERRIFIC TORTURES 

The doctrine of eternal punishment makes an im- 
placable God of the Supreme Being. Would it be 
reasonable to say of a sovereign that he is very 
kind, very benevolent, very indulgent, that he only 
desires the happiness of all around him, but that he 
is, at the same time, jealous, vindictive, inflexibly 
severe, and that he punishes three-quarters of his 



SOUL BEINCABNATION. 339 

subjects with the most terrific tortures, for any of- 
fense, or any infraction of his laws, even when their 
imputed fault has resulted simply from their igno- 
rance of the laws they have transgressed? Would 
there not be an evident contradiction in such a state- 
ment of the sovereign's character? And can God's 
action be less consistent than that of a man? 

The doctrine in question presents another contra- 
diction. Since God foreknows all things, He must 
have known, in creating a soul, that it would trans- 
gress His laws, and it must therefore have been, 
from its very formation, predestined by Him to eter- 
nal misery; but is such an assumption reasonable or 
admissible? The doctrine of punishment propor- 
tioned to wrongdoing is, on the contrary, entirely 
consonant with reason and justice. God undoubt- 
edly foresaw, in creating a given soul, that, in its 
ignorance, it would do wrong; but He has ordained 
that its very faults themselves shall furnish it with 
the means of becoming enlightened, through its ex- 
perience of the painful effects of its wrong-doing; 
He will compel it to expiate that wrongdoing, but 
only in order that it may thereby be more firmly 
fixed in goodness; thus the door of hope is never 
closed against it, and the moment of its deliverance 
from suffering is made to depend on the amount of 
effort it puts forth to achieve its purification. If 
the doctrine of future punishment had always been 



340 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

presented under this aspect, very few would ever 
have doubted its truth. 

The word eternal is often figuratively employed, 
in common parlance, to designate any long period of 
duration of which the end is not foreseen, although 
it is known that it will come in course of time. We 
speak, for instance, of "the Eternal Snows" of 
mountain-peaks and polar regions, although we 
know, on the one hand, that our globe will come to 
an end, and, on the other hand, that the state of 
those regions may be changed by the normal dis- 
placement of the earth's axis, or by some cataclysm. 
The word eternal, therefore, in this case, does not 
mean infinitely perpetual. We say, in the suffering 
of some long illness, that our days present the same 
"eternal round" of weariness. Is it strange, then, 
that spirits who have suffered for years, centuries, 
thousands of ages even, should express themselves in 
the same way ? Moreover, we must not forget that 
their state of backwardness prevents them from see- 
ing the other end of the road, and that they there- 
fore believe themselves to be destined to suffer for- 
ever; a belief which is itself a part of their punish- 
ment. 

The doctrine of Material Fire, of furnaces, and 
tortures, borrowed from the pagan Tartarus, is com- 
pletely given up by many of the most eminent theo- 
logians of the present day, who admit that the word 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 341 

"fire'' is employed figuratively in the Bible, and is 
to be understood as meaning moral fire. Those who, 
like ourselves, have observed the incidents of the life 
beyond the grave, as presented to our view by the 
communications of spirits, have had ample proof 
that its sufferings are none the less excruciating for 
not being of material nature. And even as regards 
the duration of those sufferings, many theologians 
are beginning to admit the restriction indicated 
above, and to consider that the word eternal may be 
considered as referring to the principle of penality 
in itself, as the consequence of an immutable law, 
and not to its application to each individual. When 
religious teaching shall only admit this interpreta- 
tion, it will bring back to a belief in God and in a 
future life many who are now losing themselves in 
the mazes of materialism. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

REINCARNATION 

The writer does not wish to be understood as 
meaning that Reincarnation or Eastern Spiritism 
doctrine is of modern invention ; on the contrary, as 
the intercommunication of spirits with men occurs in 
virtue of natural law, it has existed from the begin- 
ning of time, and the Hindus can prove that traces of 
this inter-communication are to be found in the 
earliest annals of antiquity. Pythagoras, as is 
well known, was not the author of the sys- 
tem of metempsychosis; he borrowed it from 
the Hindu Adepts of Hindoostan and of 
Egypt, by whom it has been held from time im- 
memorial. The idea of the transmigration of souls 
was, therefore, in the earliest ages of the world, a 
general belief, equally admitted by the common peo- 
ple and by the most eminent thinkers of the period. 
By what road did this idea come to them? Did it 
reach them through revelation or through intuition ? 
In regard to this point you know nothing; but it 
may be safely assumed that no idea could thus have 
traversed the successive ages of the world, and have 



344 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

commanded the assent of the highest intellects of 
the human race, if it had not been based on some 
solid ground of truth and reason. The antiquity of 
this doctrine should therefore be considered as an 
argument in its favor, rather than as an objection. 
But, at the same time, it must not be forgotten that 
there is, between the antique doctrine of metempsy- 
chosis and the modern doctrine of reincarnation, this 
capital difference, viz. : that the spirits who inculcate 
the latter reject absolutely the idea that the human 
soul can pass into an animal, and vice versa. 

The spirits therefore who now proclaim the 
truth of the plurality of our corporeal existence 
reassert a doctrine which has its birth in the earliest 
ages of the world, and which has maintained its 
footing to the present day in the convictions of many 
minds; but at present this truth is under an aspect 
which is more rational, more conformable with the 
natural laws of progress, and more in harmony with 
the wisdom of the Creator, throughout the strip- 
ping away of accessories added to it by superstition. 

It may here be asked, why is it that the statements 
of all spirits are not in unison in regard to this sub- 
ject? To this question I shall recur elsewhere. 

Let us, for the present, examine the matter from 
another point of view, entirely irrespective of any 
assumed declarations of spirits in regard to it. Let 
us put the latter entirely aside for the moment ; let 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 345 

us suppose them to have made no statement what- 
ever in regard to it; let us even suppose the very 
existence of spirits not to have been surmised. Plac- 
ing ourselves for a moment on neutral ground, and 
admitting as equally possible, the hypothesis of the 
plurality and of the unity of corporeal existences, let 
us see which of these hypotheses is most in harmony 
with the dictates of reason and with the requirements 
of our own interest. 

There are persons who reject the idea of reincar- 
nation simply because they do not like it, declaring 
that their present existence has been quite enough 
for them, and that they have no wish to recommence 
a similar one. Of such persons I would merely in- 
quire whether they suppose that God has consulted 
their wishes and opinions in regulating the uni- 
verse? Either the law of reincarnation exists, or it 
does not exist. If it exists, no matter how displeas- 
ing it may be to them, they will be compelled to sub- 
mit in it; for God will not ask their permission to 
enforce it. It is as though a sick man should say, 
"I have suffered enough today; I do not choose to 
suffer tomorrow." No matter what may be his un- 
willingness to suffer, he will nevertheless be obliged 
to go on suffering, not only on the morrow, but day 
after day, until he is cured. In like manner, if it be 
their destiny to live again corporeally, they will thus 
live again, they will be reincarnated. In vain will 



346 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

they rebel against necessity like a child refusing to 
go to school, or a condemned criminal refusing to 
go to prison. They will be compelled to submit to 
their fate, no matter how unwilling they may be 
to do so. Such objections are too puerile to deserve 
a more serious examination. Let us say, however, 
for the consolation of those who urge them, that the 
Hindu doctrine of reincarnation is by no means so 
terrible as they imagine it to be ; that the conditions 
of their next existence depends on themselves, and 
will be happy or unhappy according to the deeds 
done by them in this present life ; and that they may 
even by their action in this life, raise themselves 
above the danger of falling again into the mire of 
expiation. 

FUTURE AFTER DEATH 

I take it for granted that those whom I am ad- 
dressing believe in some sort of future after death 
and that they do not look forward either 
to annihilation or to a drowning of their soul 
in a universal whole, without individuality like so 
many drops of rain in the ocean; which 
comes to much the same thing. But, if you 
believe in a future state of existence, you 
probably do not suppose that it will be the same for 
all; for in that case, where would be the utility of 
doing right? Why should men place any restraint 
upon themselves? Why should they not satisfy all 



SOUL EE1NCAKNATION. 347 

their passions, all their desires, even at the expense 
of the rest of the world, if the result is to be the same 
in all cases ? On the contrary, you no doubt believe 
that your future will be more or less happy accord- 
ing to what you have done in your present life ; and 
you have doubtless the desire to be as happy as pos- 
sible in the future to which you look forward since 
it will be for all eternity. Do you, perchance, con- 
sider yourself to be one of the most excellent of those 
who have ever existed upon the earth, and therefore 
entitled to supreme felicity? No. You admit, then, 
that there are some who are better than you, and 
who have consequently a right to a higher place, al- 
though you do not deserve to be classed among the 
reprobate. Place yourself, then, in thought, for a 
moment, in the medium condition which, according 
to your own admission, will properly be yours, and 
suppose that some one comes to you and says, "you 
suffer; you are not so happy as you might be; and 
meanwhile you see others in the enjoyment of un- 
mixed happiness. Would you like to exchange your 
position for theirs?" "Undoubtedly, I should," you 
reply; "what must I do to bring about such a re- 
sult?" "Something very simple; you have only to 
begin again what you have done badly and try to 
do it better." Would you hesitate to accept the 
offer, even at the cost of several existences of trial? 
Let us take another illustration, still more prosaic. 



348 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

Suppose that some one comes to a man who, though 
not in a state of absolute destitution, has to endure 
many privations through the smallness of his means, 
and say to him, "here is an immense fortune of 
which you may have the enjoyment, on condition 
that you work hard during one minute.' , The laz- 
iest of men, in response to such an offer, would say, 
without hesitation, "I am ready to work for one min- 
ute, for two minutes, for an hour, for a whole day 
if necessary. What is a day's labor in comparison 
with the certainty of ease and plenty for all the rest 
of my life?" 

But what is the duration of a corporeal life in 
comparison with eternity? Less than a minute, less 
than a moment. 

We sometimes hear people bring forward the fol- 
lowing argument : "God, who is sovereignly good, 
cannot impose upon man the hard necessity of re- 
commencing a series of sorrows and tribulations." 
But would there be more kindness in condemning a 
man to perpetual suffering for a few moments of er- 
ror than in giving him the means of repairing his 
faults? 

HINDU PHILOSOPHER 

Two manufacturers had each a workman who 
might hope to become some day the partner of his 
employer. But it happened that both these workmen 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 349 

made so very bad a use of their time that they mer- 
ited dismissal. One of the manufacturers drove 
away his unfaithful workman, despite his supplica- 
tions ; and this workman, being unable to obtain any 
other employment, died of want. The other said to 
his workman — "You have wasted a day; you owe 
me compensation for the loss you have thus caused 
me. You have done your work badly ; you owe me 
reparation for it. I give you leave to begin it over 
again. Try to do well, and I will keep you in my 
employ, and you may still aspire to the superior 
position which I had promised you." 

Need we ask which of the manufacturers has 
shown himself to be the most humane? And would 
God, who is clemency itself, be more inexorable 
than a just and compassionate man ? The idea that 
our fate is decided forever by a few years of trial, 
and notwithstanding the fact that is was not in our 
power to attain to perfection while we remained upon 
the earth, fills the mind with anguish ; while the con- 
trary idea is eminently consoling, for it leaves us 
hope. Thus, without pronouncing for or against the 
plurality of existence, without admitting either 
hypothesis in preference to the other, I assert that, 
if the matter were left to your choice, there is no one 
who would prefer incurring a sentence against which 
there should be no appeal. A Hindu philosopher has 
said that "If God did not exist, it would be necessary 



350 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

to invent Him for the happiness of the human race ;" 
the same might be said in regard to the plurality of 
existence. But, as I have already remarked, God 
does not ask your permission in the establishment of 
providential ordering; He does not consult your 
preference in the matter. Either the law of reincar- 
nation exists, or it does not exist ; let us see on which 
side is the balance of probabilities, considering the 
matter from another point of view, but still leaving 
out of sight all idea of any statements that have been 
made by the spirits in regard to it, and examining the 
question merely as a matter of philosophic inquiry. 
If the law of reincarnation does not exist, we can 
have but one corporeal existence ; and if our present 
corporeal life be our only one, the soul of each in- 
dividual must have been created at the same time as 
his body; unless, indeed, we assume interiority of 
the soul, in which case we should have to inquire 
what was the state of the soul before its union with 
the body, and whether this state did not constitute an 
existence of some kind or other. There is no middle 
ground. Either the soul existed before its union 
with the body, or it did not. If it existed, what was 
its condition? Was it possessed of self-conscious- 
ness? If not, its state must have been nearly equiv- 
alent to non-existence. If possessed of individuality, 
it must have been either progressive or stationary ; in 
either case, what was its degree of advancement on 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 351 

uniting itself to the body? If, on the contrary, it 
be assumed, according to the general belief, that the 
soul is born into existence at the same time as the 
body — or that, previous to the birth of the body, it 
possesses only negative faculties — we have to pro- 
pose the following questions : 

i. Why do the souls manifest so great a diver- 
sity of aptitudes independently of the ideas acquired 
by education ? 

2. Whence comes the extra-normal aptitude for 
certain arts and sciences displayed by many children 
while still very young, although others remain in a 
state of inferiority, or of mediocrity, all their life? 

3. Whence do some individuals derive the innate 
or intuitive ideas that are lacking in others ? 

4. Whence do some children derive the preco- 
cious instincts of vice or virtue, the innate sen- 
timents of dignity or of baseness, which often con- 
trast so strikingly with the situation into which they 
are born ? 

5. Why is it that some men, independently of 
education, are more advanced than others ? 

6. Why is it that among the races which people 
the globe some are savage and others civilized? If 
you took a Hottentot baby from its mother's breast, 
and brought it up in our most renowned schools, 
could you succeed in making of it a Moses or a 
Shakespeare ? 



352 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

What is the philosophy or the theosophy that can 
solve these problems? Either the souls of men are 
equal at their birth, or they are unequal. If they are 
equal, why these inequalities of aptitude. Will it be 
said that these inequalities depend on the corporeal 
organization of each child? But such a doctrine 
would be the most monstrous and the most immoral 
of hypothesis; for, in that case, man would be a 
mere machine, the sport of matter; he would not be 
responsible for his actions, but would have the right 
to throw all the blame of his wrong-doing on the im- 
perfections of his physical frame. If, on the other 
hand, souls are created unequal, God must have 
created them so ; but, in that case, why is this innate 
superiority accorded to some and denied to others? 
And would such partiality be consistent with the 
justice of God, and the equal love He bears to all His 
children ? 

Admit, on the contrary, a succession of existences, 
and everything is explained. Men bring with them, 
at their birth in flesh, the amount of intuition they 
have previously acquired. They are more or less ad- 
vanced, according to the number of existences they 
have previously accomplished, according as they are 
nearer to or farther from the common starting-point ; 
exactly as, in a company made up of individuals of 
different ages, each will possess a degree of develop- 
ment proportionate to the number of years he has 



SOUL EEINCAENATION". 353 

already lived ; the succession of years being to the life 
of the body what the succession of existences is to 
the life of the soul. Bring together in the same 
place, at the same time a thousand individuals of all 
ages, from the new-born babe to the patriarch of 
eighty. Suppose that a veil is thrown over their 
past, and that you, in your ignorance of that past, 
imagine them all to have been born on the same day. 
You would naturally wonder how it is that some are 
big and others little; that some are wrinkled and 
others fresh; that some are learned and others 
ignorant ; but if the cloud which hid their past were 
dispersed, and you discovered that some had lived 
longer than others, all these differences would be ex- 
plained. God, in His justice, could not create souls 
more or less perfect. But granting the plurality of 
our corporeal existences, there is nothing in the dif- 
ferences of quality that we see around us in any way 
inconsistent with the most rigorous equity ; for what 
we see around us is then perceived to have its roots, 
not in the present, but in the past. 

Is this argument based on any pre-conceived sys- 
tem or gratuitous supposition ? No. I start from a 
fact that is patent and incontestable- — viz, the in- 
equality of natural aptitudes and of intellectual and 
moral development ; and I find this a fact to be inex- 
plicable by any of the theories in vogue, while the ex- 
planation of this fact afforded by the Hindu doctrine 



354 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

of Reincarnation is at once simple, natural, and ra- 
tional. Is it reasonable to prefer a theory which 
does not explain this fact to one which does ? 

In regard to the sixth question, it will doubtless be 
replied that the Hottentot is of an inferior race; in 
which case I beg to inquire whether a Hottentot is 
or is not a man ? If he is not a man, why try to make 
him a Christian ? If he be a man, why has God re- 
fused to him and to his race the privileges accorded 
to the Caucasian race? Hindu philosophy is too 
broad to admit the existence of different species of 
men; it recognizes only men whose spiritual part is 
more or less backward, but who are all capable of the 
same progress. Is not this view of the human race 
more conformable with the justice of God? 

We have been considering the soul in regard to its 
past and its present ; if we consider it in regard to the 
future, we are met by difficulties which the theories 
in vogue are equally unable to explain. 

If our future destiny is to be decided solely by our 
present existence, what will be in the future the re- 
spective positions of the savage and of the civilized 
man? Will they be on the same level, or will there 
be a difference in the sum of their eternal felicity? 

Will the man who has labored diligently all his 
life to advance his moral and itellectual improve- 
ment be placed in the same rank with the man who, 
not through his own fault, but because he has neither 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 355 

the time nor the opportunity for advancing, has re- 
mained at a lower point of moral and intellectual im- 
provement ? 

Can the man who has done wrong because the 
means of enlightenment have been denied him be 
justly punished for wrong-doing which has not been 
the result of his own choice? 

ADEPT AND CHRISTIAN 

The true Adept and Christian endeavors to en- 
lighten, moralize, and civilize mankind ; but for one 
whom he is able to enlighten, there are millions who 
die every year without the light having reached 
them. What is to be the fate of these milions ? Are 
they to be treated as reprobates ? and, if they are not 
to be so treated, how have they deserved to be placed 
in the category with those who have become en- 
lightened and moralized ? 

What is to be the fate of children who die before 
they have been able to do good or evil ? If they are 
to be received among the supremely happy, why 
should this favor be granted to them without their 
having done anything to deserve it ? And in virtue 
of what privilege are they exempted from undegoing 
the tribulations of the earthly life? 

Which of the doctrines hitherto propounded can 
solve these problems ? But, if we admit the fact of 
our consecutive existences, all these problems are 



356 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

solved in conformity with the divine justice. What 
we are not able to do in this existence we do in an- 
other. None are exempted from the action of the 
law of progress ; everyone is rewarded progressively, 
according to his deserts, but no one is excluded from 
the eventual attainment of the highest felicity, no 
matter what may be the obstacles he has to encounter 
on the road. 

The questions growing out of the subject we are 
considering might be multiplied indefinitely, for the 
psychological and moral problems which can only 
find their solution in the plurality of existence are 
innumerable. In the present considerations I have 
restricted my inquiry to those which are most general 
in their nature. But it may still be urged by some 
objectors, "whatever may be the arguments in its 
favor, the doctrine of reincarnation is not admitted 
by the church; its acceptance would therefore be 
the overthrow of religion/' 

It is not my intention to treat the question, in this 
place, under the special aspect suggested by the fore- 
going objection; it is sufficient for the present pur- 
pose to have shown the eminently moral and rational 
character of the doctrine we are considering. But it 
may be confidently asserted, that a doctrine which is 
both moral and rational cannot be antagonistic to a 
religion which proclaims the Divine Being to be the 
most perfect goodness and the highest reason. What, 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 357 

may we ask in our turn, would have become of the 
church, if, in opposition to the convictions of man- 
kind and the testimony of science, it had persisted in 
rejecting overwhelming evidence, and had cast out 
from its bosom all who did not believe in the move- 
ment of the Sun or in the six days of creation? 
What would be the credit or authority possessed 
among enlightened nations by a religious system 
that should inculcate manifest errors as articles of 
belief? Whenever any matter of evidence has been 
established, the Church has wisely sided with the 
evidence. If it be proved that the facts of human 
life are irreconcilable, on any other supposition, with 
a belief in the justice of God — if various points of 
the Christian dogma can only be explained with the 
aid of this doctrine, the Church will be compelled to 
admit its truth, and to acknowledge that apparent 
antagonism between them is only apparent. Re- 
ligion has no more to fear from the acceptance of this 
doctrine than from the discovery of the motion of 
the earth and of the periods of geological formation, 
which, at first sight, appears to contradict the state- 
ment of the Bible. Moreover, the principle of rein- 
carnation is implied in many passages of Holy Writ, 
and is explicitly formulated in the Gospel. 

When they came down from the mountain (after 
the transfiguration), Jesus gave this commandment,, 
and said to them — "Speak to no one of what yo%> 



358 DEATH AND HINDU SPIKITISM. 

have just seen, until the Son of Man shall have been 
resuscitated from among the dead" 

His disciples thereupon began to question Him, 
and inquired, "Why, then, do the Scribes say that 
Elias must first come?" But Jesus replied to them, 
"It is true that Elias must come, and that he will re- 
establish all things. But I declare to you that Elias 
has already come, and they did not know him, but 
have made him suffer as they listed. It is thus that 
they will put to death the Son of Man." Then His 
disciples understood that He spoke to them of John 
the Baptist. (St. Matthew, chap. XVII.) 

Since John the Baptist is declared by Christ to 
have been Elias, it follows that the spirit or soul of 
Elias must have been reincarnated in the body of 
John the Baptist. 

But whatever may be your opinion in regard to re- 
incarnation, whether you accept it or whether you 
reject it, it is certain that you shall have to undergo 
it, if it really exists, notwithstanding any belief of 
yours to the contrary. The point which I here desire 
to establish is this, viz, that the teaching of the spirits 
who proclaim it is eminently Christian, that it is 
founded on the doctrines of the immortality of the 
soul, of future rewards and punishments, of the 
justice of God, of human free-will, and the moral 
code of Christ ; and that, therefore, it cannot be anti- 
religious. 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 359 

I have Written this knowledge, as I remarked 
above, without reference to statements made by spir- 
its ; such statements being, for many minds, without 
authority. If I, and so many others, have adopted 
the hypothesis of the plurality of existence, I have 
done so not merely because it has been proclaimed by 
spirits, but because it has been revealed to me to be 
eminently true, and because it solves problems 
that are insoluble by the opposite hypothesis. Had 
it been suggested to me by a mere mortal, I should, 
therefore, have adopted it with equal confidence, re- 
nouncing, with equal promptitude, my preconceived 
opinions on the subject; for when an opinion has 
been shown to the erroneous, even self-love has more 
to lose than gain by persisting in holding it. In like 
manner, I should have rejected the doctrine of re- 
incarnation, even though proclaimed by spirits, if it 
had appeared to me to be contrary to reason, as, in- 
deed, I have rejected many other ideas which spirits 
have sought to inculcate, for I know, by experience, 
that I can no more give a blind acceptance to ideas 
put forth by spirits than I can to those put forth by 
men. 

The principal merit of the doctrine of reincarna- 
tion is, then, to our minds, that it is supremely ra- 
tional. But it has also in its favor the confirmation 
of facts — facts positive and, so to say, material, 
which is apparent to all who study the question with 



360 PEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

patience and perseverance, and in presence of which 
all doubt as to the reality of the law in question is 
impossible. When the appreciation of these facts 
shall have become popularized, like those which have 
revealed to us the formation and rotation of the 
earth, they who oppose this doctrine will be com- 
pelled to renounce their opposition. 

To sum up: I assert that the doctrine of the 
plurality of existence is the only one that explains 
what, without this doctrine, is inexplicable; that it 
is at once eminently consolatory and strictly con- 
formable with the most rigorous justice ; and that it 
is the anchor of safety which God in His Mercy has 
provided for mankind. 

The words of Jesus Himself are explicit as to the 
truth of this last assertion; for we read in the third 
chapter of the gospel according to St. John that 
Jesus came replying to Nicodemus and thus ex- 
pressed himself: "Verily, verily, I tell thee that, if a 
man be not born again, he cannot see the Kingdom 
of God." And when Nicodemus inquires, "how can 
a man be born when he is old? Can he enter again 
into his mother's womb and be born a second time?" 
Jesus replies, "Except a man be born of water and 
of the spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. 
What is bom of the flesh is flesh, and what is born 
of the spirit is spirit. Be not amazed at what I have 
told thee; you must be born again." 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

LESSONS IN HINDU SPIRITISM AND 
MAGIC 

Whoso should wish to recount all the Arts and 
Operations which in these times be reputed and 
preached abroad as Wisdom and Magical Secrets; 
he should as well undertake to count the waves and 
the sands of the Sea; seeing that the matter hath 
come to such a pass that every trick of a buffoon is 
believed to be Magic, that all the abominations of 
impious Enchanters, all Diabolical Illusions, all 
Pagan Idolatries, all Superstitions, Fascinations, 
Diabolical Pacts, and lastly all that the gross blind- 
ness of the World can touch with its hands and feet 
is reckoned as Wisdom and Magic : The Physician, 
the Astrologer, the Enchanter, the Sorceress, the 
Idolater, and the Sacrilegious, is called by common 
people a Magician: Also he who draweth his 
Magic whether from the Sun, whether from the 
moon, whether from the Evil Spirits, whether from 
Stones, Herbs, Animals, Brutes, or lastly from 
thousand divers sources, so that the Spirits are 



364 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

astonished thereat. There be certain ones who draw 
their Magic from Air, from Earth, from Fire, from 
Water, from Physiognomy, from the Land, from 
Mirrors, from Glasses, from Birds, from Bread, 
from Wine, and even from the very excrements 
themselves; and yet, however, all this is reputed as 
Magic. 

I exhort you, ye who read, to have the fear of 
God, and to study Justice, because infallibly unto you 
shall be opened the Gate of the True Wisdom which 
the Hindu Priests and Adepts gave unto their 
Disciples and unto their descendants. It is this Wis- 
dom and Magical Knowledge that delivers man from 
the torments of his soul and Evil Spirits, and it has 
been taught to every true Disciple who desires to 
learn this ancient mystery of Magical Rites of Hin- 
du Spirit Art and East Indian Occultism. I, Dr. L. 
W. de Laurence (upon whom has fallen the solemn 
duty of writing and arranging this volume) am 
considered the only person who has the legitimate 
right to teach these mysteries in this country, as all 
who will say that have read and studied "The Great 
Book of Magical Art, Hindu Magic and East Indian 
Occultism," by Dr. L. W. de Laurence, that the same 
is a most excellent work, teaching in full all the Im- 
precations, Benedictions, Conjurations; as well as 
the solemn Rites of Initiation in the Temples and 
Lamaseries of India, Arabia, China and other East- 



SOUL EEINCAKNATION. 365 

ern and Oriental lands, therefore I am certainly well 
qualified to teach and advance an opinion on Art 
Magic and the greatest mystery known to man, 
which is "Death." 

Therefore, let everyone know that this, which I 
now teach unto you, and that which I have taught is 
the True Wisdom and Magic, and which is in this 
same "Book of Magical Art," and independent of 
any other Science, or Wisdom, or Magic, soever. It 
is, however, certainly true that these miraclous oper- 
ations have much in common with the Hindu Spirit- 
ism; it is also true that there be other Arts which 
have some stamp of Wisdom; which alone would 
be worth nothing were they not mingled with the 
foundation of the Sacred Wisdom of the Hindus, 
whence later arose the Mixed Qabalah, 



THE GENUINE SYSTEM and METHOD 
OF HINDU SPIRITISM 

The genuine System and Method of Hindu Magic, and Spirit Invocation 
advocated and given in the following pages of "THE BOOK OF DEATH " 
is the Hindu manner of Teaching Invocations, which of course, makes it 
ancient and unique. In OCCULTISM, that is to say the Science, Power 
and Knowledge of the Secret of the control of the Spiritual Forces of the 
Astral World, there has always been two great schools, the one Great in Good, 
the other in Evil, as referred to in the beginning of this Volume. The former 
depends on the Knowledge and Invocation of the Good and Powerful Spirits; 
the latter on the peculiar method of Invocation of the Evil Spirits. The for- 
mer is termed Sacred or True Spiritism, as opposed to the latter, or Black Art. 
The Invocation of Good and Friendly Spirits is the system taught by the true 
Adept, as also are the Ceremonies of Pact with Evil Spirits for their submis- 
sion. However, the system of Hindu Teachings, taught in " THE BOOK OF 
DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM" is based on the following laws and con- 
ception: (1) That the Good Spirits, Angelic Forces and Rulers of the Astral 
World are far superior in power to the Evil Forces which are the fallen spirits 
of Darkness. (2) That these latter as a means of their redemption must be re- 
incarnated again. (This idea is to be found also in True Occultism or as it is 
frequently and perhaps more correctly written, Zabino.) (3) As a consequence 
of this doctrine, all ordinary material effects and phenomena are produced by 
the labor of the Lower Spirits under the command usually of the Good. (4) 
That consequently whenever the Evil Spirits can escape from the control of 
the Good, there is no evil that they will not work by way of vengence. (5) That 
therefore, sooner than obey man, they will try to make him their servant, by 
inducing him to conclude Pacts and Agreements with them. (6) That to fur- 
ther this project they will use every means that offers to obsess him. (7) That 
in order to become an Adept, therefore, and dominate them, the greatest pos- 
sible firmness of will, purity of soul and intent, and power of self-control 
is necessary. (8) That this is only to be attained by self-abnegation on every 
plane. (9) That man therefore is the middle nature and natural controller be- 
tween the Good and the Evil Spirits and that, therefore, to each man is at- 
tached naturally both by a Guadrian Angel and a Malevolent Spirit, and also 
certain Spirits that may become Familiar, so that with him it rests to give 
the victory unto which he will. (10) That, therefore, in order to control and 
make service of the Lower and Evil, the knowledge of the Higher and Good 
is requisite (i. e. in the language of the Theosophy of the present day, the 
knowledge of the Higher Self). 

From this it results that the teachings propounded in this work is by 
purity and self-denial to obtain the knowledge of and conversation with one's 
Guardian Angel, so that thereby and thereafter we may obtain the power of 
suppressing the Evil Spirits whenever they desire to do us injury. 

This, then, is the system of Hindu Spiritism as taught by the Hindu Adept 
to his Disciple and elaborated down to the smallest points. 

A Good Spirit, if attracted into an assembly of good persons would endeav- 
or to excite their ideas toward good, while an Evil Spirit attracted among 
evil-minded persons would incite them mentally to crime. Among how many 
criminals is not their only excuse that " they thought they kept hearing 
something telling them to commit the crime." Yet these suggestions would 
not always arise from Elementals alone, but frequently from the depraved 
Astral remnants of deceased evil persons, or Earth-bound Spirits. 

Evil Spirits, on the other hand, are far more powerful than Elementals, 
for their action for Evil is parallel to that of the Good Spirits for Good; and 
their malignancy is far more terrible than that of the Evil Elementals, for not 
being, like them, subjected to the limits of certain currents, their sphere of 
operation extends over a far greater area; while the Evil they commit is never 
irrational or mechanical, but worked with full consciousness and intent. 

m The necessity of the invocation of the Divine and Angelic Forces or Good 
Spirits to control the Evil Spirits is invariably insisted upon in the operation 
of Invocations described and taught in all my published works. So that it is 
not so much, as I have said before, this circumstance, as the mode of its de- 
367 



368 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

velopment by our study and preparation, which is not unusual ; while again 
the thorough and complete classification of the Spirits with their officers, and 
of the effects to be produced by their services, is not to be found elsewhere. 

CONFIDENCE 

Of all hindrances to Magical action, the very greatest and most fatal is 
unbelief, for its checks and stops the action of the Will. Even in the com- 
monest natural operations we see this. No child could learn to walk, no 
student could assimilate the formulas of any science, were doubt and the 
impracticability and impossibility of so doing is the first thing in his mind. 
Therefore it is that all Adepts and Great Teachers of Religion and of Magic 
have invariably insisted on the necessity of faith. 

The writer could never understand, what many think an imperative 
necessity, for them to study and interest themselves in the many different 
methods and teachings of Occultism, for every student should select some 
good Adept's Teachings, which he must first decide for himself to be good, 
then follow them closely and earnestly, showing a marked intolerance for 
other teachings differing from the ones he has selected. 

Further, I must say that it has been my experience to find that it is rather 
the abuse through ignorance of their meaning, which causes some hasty one 
to decry the worthlessness of certain teachings, than their intelligent and pro- 
perly regulated use, for if the Disciple be pure in mind, and have developed 
the clairvoyant faculty which is latent in every human being, and which is 
based on the utilization of the thought-vision, he will succeed. This soul sight, 
spoken of in the Scriptures as the V Inner or Spiritual Sight," is exercised 
almost unconsciously by everyone in thinking of either a place, person or a 
thing, which they know well ; immediately, coincident with the thought, the 
image springs before the mental sight; and it is but the conscious and volun- 
tary development of this which is the basis of what is commonly called clair- 
voyance. Among the Highlanders of Scotland, this faculty, as is well known, 
is of common manifestation; and by the English is usually spoken of as 
"Second Sight.'' 

"PENTACLES AND SYMBOLS'* 

Pentacles and Symbols are valuable as an equilibrated and fitting basis 
for the reception of Magical force; but unless the Operator can really attract 
that force to them, they are nothing but so many dead, and to him worthless, 
diagrams. But used by the Initiate or Adept who fully comprehends their 
meaning they become to him a powerful protectiou and aid, seconding and 
focussing the working of his Will, as well as the Power of the Spirits he has 
invoked. 

CONCLUSION 

In conclusion I desire it to be known and understood that there are many 
who will fail to understand why the following system and methods of Hindu 
Invocation have found to be fitting and suitable in a volume of this kind. 
Regarding this, let all mankind know that this has been customary in all ages 
of man. However, he who does not care to take up the exercises need not do 
so, let him study the volume in its forepart, he will be more than recom- 
pensed for his time and trouble. 

Further "The Book of Death and Hindu Spiritism" has been written 
sorely as a help to the genuine Occult student and those faithful souls who 
desire Knowledge and Wisdom; and that for the opinion of the ordinary 
literary critic who neither understands nor believes in Spiritism or Occultism, 
I care nothing. _ _ _ 

Dr. de Laurence. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

INSTRUCTION FOR THE INVOCATION AND 
CONVOCATION OF SPIRITS 

Occult Treasures, Occult Powers and Instructions 
in Sacred Magic have been buried and concealed un- 
der the centuries of the eternal past, far from 
the reach of the dizzy and unsteady hand of the Ma- 
terialist, who has been wandering in the blind blank 
faith of Materialism ; who is neither able to grasp the 
seal of Eastern Magic or the great power that lives 
within his own self. This wisdom and certain Indian 
Teachings are laid before him in this volume of 
Death and Hindu Spiritism. These teachings 
are more valuable to mankind than gold or precious 
stones and are given with a free hand, including all 
such advice and admonition as are necessary for the 
Disciple and Student to safely enter the great Sacred 
Temple of Magic. The veil which has been closed 
for centuries is here drawn aside and if the student 
is sincere and wise he will profit by these Mysteries 
and Occult Teachings which may themselves seem 
strange and weird as he advances in the teachings, 
mysteries and Rites of Hindu Magic. A new world 



370 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

and existence will be open to him and the more he 
learns of Spirits of the Astral Plane the more 
he will realize and learn to know himself. The 
teachings of Indian 'Occultism are different from the 
teachings of Physiology and Materialism. Material- 
istic teachings make a man impotent and a thing that 
is driven and tossed as a wave of the sea by the 
storm. Materialism will have man think that he is 
an animal. The knowledge of Eastern Wisdom 
proves to him that he is a power within himself and, 
that the invisible powers and forces are the stronger 
and predominate and that when he develops this 
power he will become invested with a force that will 
enable him to control his destiny and protect himself 
and family as they should be protected by a true 
father and Master. Materialism teaches man that 
Life is not Eternal and that he is to live but a few 
short years and then be condemned to Eternal Fire. 
Hindu Spiritism shows him that he is a part of the 
great Universe and that he has always existed and 
shall always continue to exist. 

SACRED MAGIC 

Sacred Magic teaches him the true nature of his 
soul and that his earthly existence is merely an 
experience in his Eternal Life and career. 
The Occult Spirit Powers of the soul which 
are potentially contained in every man, but 



SOUL KEINCAKNATION. 371 

understood and developed by few, are in a sense 
strange and unknown to the Materialistic Scientists 
of the Western countries and who appoints himself 
the guardian and officer of modern civilization. The 
learning of these guardians is far from the teachings 
of true Wisdom. Their intellect seeking the small 
materialistic powers around them cannot perceive the 
Occult and Astral Powers above them, nor realize 
their existence. Yet, Ancient Wisdom is as old as the 
mountains of India and has been known and taught 
by all prophets and by every great philosopher that 
has ever lived and inhabited the earth. The funda- 
mental and cardinal principle as found in ancient 
Hindu Sanscrit and in the Scriptures of the Holy 
Book form the principle and essence of the power 
that Christ taught and revealed unto his Disciples. 
In ancient times they were revealed unto those 
who were found worthy of being initiated into the 
Temples of Ancient and Mystic India. The dis- 
closure of Sacred Magic in these times as in the 
present to the vulgar was forbidden. These teach- 
ings are not to be confounded with Diabolical Art ; 
for the Arts that are taught by the western impost er 
are like the flickering light of the candle in the 
face of the Holy Sun. True Magic is only possessed 
by those who have developed Spirit Power. This; 
has been verified by every true and practical Occult: 
Student who has power of intellect and firmness, so 



372 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

as to enable him to learn and understand these great 
mysteries which are hidden and concealed from the 
unworthy. The above teachings do not merely point 
out to him the theories of true knowledge but render 
him wise and strong in Occult forces. The true 
student which studies these teachings and Magical 
Rites by nature, becomes a part of this light that 
serves to illuminate and drive out the worms from the 
deep dark caverns of the Materialist's mind and soul. 
What the Hindu Adept and Master teaches has been 
verified and amplified by all of the immortal minds 
of the past and the Western student has names to 
look up to which are famous and which are engraved 
upon the monumental steps of the stairway of the 
past. As written above, this Art in the past as 
in the future will, when once unfolded, teach 
the secrets to those who will become purified and 
faithful in their souls and, as man's Occult Powers 
become illuminated, the darkness around him (Ma- 
terialism) will disappear and in its place will come 
the true light of Wisdom and knowledge; for once 
man's soul has been invested with Occult Powers it 
becomes free in its action and movements and he is 
no longer bound by the cruel bands and cords of 
Materialism for the soul then becomes powerful and 
can and will instruct itself while at the same time it 
will be assisted, guided and instructed by Astral 
Spirits. When this grand state of Occult 
Powers becomes developed it becomes its 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 373 

guide. The soul is then no longer subject 
to the conditions of time, or materialistic laws. Its 
existence is eternal and for a soul to desire a thing 
is already to possess it. Man's ability to advance 
in these powers will be in proportion to his desires. 
Desire will raise the curtain and will let Spiritual 
light penetrate into his soul that it may be able to see 
and realize things around him in the Spirit world, 
the same as if they were Material and External ob- 
jects. Man's soul, once it has developed Spirit 
Power, becomes one with the spirit. Man is then 
able to communicate and converse mentally with 
mankind and with the spirits of the Astral Plane 
same as if they were living in the physical body. 
Man is also able to perform great and mysterious 
things, for there is a certain kind of Spirit and Oc- 
cult Magic which has its existence in the Astral 
World. 

These forces and powers are placed within and 
not without the soul of man and he has within him- 
self the power of entering in communication with 
these forces by the law and principle of realization. 
However, it is a fact that these Invisible Forces 
(Evil Spirits) can control a man and break him 
down with perfect ease, unless he understands the 
Magical Teachings and how to overcome and dispel 
their power. He is then able to dominate instead of 



374 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

being dominated and he can control them so that 
they will obey him and understand certain signs. 

A man who is not properly developed should 
understand and always bear in mind that 
in trying to demonstrate and work these things 
for himself, that he is working with a powerful and 
unseen force and unless he has the true teachings his 
efforts will be a curse unto him and he would far 
better be dead than to try these things for the gratifi- 
cation of his own personal curiosity. Again he will 
understand this great power from out of his soul, for 
the curse that hangs around the neck of the Western 
man is a deficiency of knowledge of himself, because 
when a man does not know himself he does not know 
and understand the things of the Occult and Invis- 
ible world; for how could he, when he himself is a 
part of this world and if he has no knowledge of 
himself how could he understand the Spirit World, 
because man must develop the Spirit Power that lies 
within himself and it is then and only then that he 
begins to get the knowledge and realization of the 
power and forces of the Invisible world. 

SPIRITUAL POWER 

Each man is the essence of Spiritual Power and 
he should know that he possesses Spiritual Power as 
well as the Physical force ; that he possesses one kind 
of knowledge as well as another and if he 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 375 

does not find these powers by not applying himself he 
must not think that he does not possess them, for he 
has not proved himself capable or deserving of their 
being developed within him. Every soul should bear 
strictly in mind that the growth or capacity of his 
soul lies in the extent to which it developes Astral 
truth and power and not by basing every conclusion 
upon External teachings, for as stated in these 
writings, Materialistic things are an illusion. The 
writer in this volume has spoken of many things 
such as Spirits, Dreams and other secret things. He 
has also given valuable knowledge for the soul who 
believes or has some sort of belief in a future con- 
tinuation of their soul. The other person, the writer 
cares nothing about, as it is not his idea to convert 
any man against his will, for he is as welcome to his 
belief and thoughts as he is to the air he breathes as 
far as he is concerned, because they harm no one but 
himself and the true student of Occultism and the 
true soul who desires to become a recipient of Divine 
Light and Sacred teachings pays no attention to the 
remarks or dictates of the Materialist because the 
same are oracle and dogmatic. If this rare Volume 
and its teachings of wisdom make no impression 
upon their mind it is only because they fail to 
recognize the true light when it shines in their eyes, 
for True wisdom and absolute truth can only come to 
any man by a clear and positive knowledge of them 



376 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

for he cannot receive it and accept it through Ma- 
terialistic theories or arguments. 

FAMILIAR SPIRITS 

Though it should be an easy matter for you to em- 
ploy Familiar Spirits to annoy your neighbor, seek to 
abstain therefrom, unless it were to repress the in- 
solence of such as might attempt aught against you 
personally. Never keep the Familiar Spirits around 
you for curiosity, and should you wish to give one 
over unto any person, see that such person be dis- 
tinguished and meritorious, for they love not to 
serve those of base and common condition. But 
should such person unto whom you give them have 
made some express Pact (with Spirits) in such case 
Familiar Spirits will fly in haste to serve him. 

LICENSING A SPIRIT TO DEPART 

In our teachings of Art Magic great stress is laid 
on the importance of licensing a Spirit invoked on 
the Operation being completed to depart, and if he 
be unwilling, of even compelling him against his will 
to return to his place. It must remembered htere, in 
these Operations of Magic that not only your Ora- 
tory but your bed-chamber also be kept pure and con- 
secrated, and therefore it would be next to impossible 
for an Evil Spirit to break through to attach you. 
But in all Magical Evocations by the Circle, the 



SOUL BEINCAKNATION. 377 

Chela (Disciple) should never quit the same, with- 
out having licensed and even forced the Evil Spirits 
to depart ; as cases are on record of the Operator ex- 
periencing sudden death. I, myself, was present in 
India on an occasion when in the Evocation by the 
Circle, the Chela incautiously having stooped for- 
ward and outward just over the limit of the Circle, 
received a shock like that from a powerful electric 
battery (the same being Astral Fluid Projected 
by Spirits) which nearly threw him down, 
struck the Magical Sword from his hand, and 
sent him staggering back to the center of 
the Circle. Compare also with this advice any 
Adept's experience in these strange operations when 
his hand accidentally goes beyond the limits of the 
Circle when he is replenishing his candles during 
an Evocation. 

GAMING 

Also you shall shun gaming as you would the 
plague, because it ever is an occasion of Blasphemy. 
Also during these studies and instructions prayer 
and the study of the Sacred Books of Scripture 
should take the place of the gaming with you. 

All this advice, and much more which every Oc- 
cultist will be certain to receive from Astral Spirits, 
I have here set down, so that by observing the same 
perfectly, without failing in the slightest particular, 



378 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

you shall at the end of the Operation find the value 
thereof. I am now, therefore, about to give you 
distinct and sufficient information how to employ 
Occult Powers, and how to proceed if you wish to 
acquire others. 

You are then to understand that once he who 
operateth hath the power it is not necessary (in all 
cases) to use written symbols, but it may suffice to 
name aloud the Name of the Spirit, and the form 
in which you wish him to appear visibly, because 
once they have taken Oath this sufficeth. These 
Symbols, then, be made for you to avail yourself of 
them when you be in the company of other per- 
sons ; also you must have them upon you, so that in 
touching or handling them simply they may repre- 
sent your wish. Immediately then he unto whom 
the Symbol appertaineth will serve you punctually, 
but if you should desire something special which is 
in no way connected with or named in the Symbol 
it will be necessary to signify the same at least by 
showing your desire by two or three words. And 
here it is well to observe that if you use prudence 
you can often reason with those persons who be 
with you in such a manner that the Spirits, having, 
however, been beforehand invoked by you, will un- 
derstand what they are to do ; but it is necessary to 
discover your intent unto them by words, for they 
be of such great intelligence that from a single word 



SOUL KEINCAKNATTON. 379 

or a single motive they can draw the construction 
of the whole matter, and although they cannot at 
all times penetrate into the inmost parts of the 
human mind, yet nevertheless by their astuteness 
and subtlety they are so adroit that they comprehend 
by perceptible signs the wish of the person in ques- 
tion. 

But when it is a grave and important matter you 
should retire into a secret place apart, provided it be 
appropriate, for any place is good to invoke the 
Spirits proper unto the Operation. There give them 
their commission regarding that which you wish 
them to perform, which they will either execute 
then or in the days following. But always give 
them the signal by word of mouth, or in any other 
manner that may be pleasing unto you whenever 
you wish them to begin to operate. But in all of 
these Arts, which be conjoined and mingled to- 
gether with the Sacred Hindu Magic, both he who 
maketh use of these same, either alone, or mingled 
with some other things which be in way from Spirit- 
ism, and he who seeketh to exercise himself in 
performing other operations without these Arts, 
is alike liable to be deceived by Evil Spirits, seeing 
that of themselves they possess no other virtue than 
a natural power, and they can produce no other 
thing than Astral effects and they have absolute 
power in spiritual and Astral things; but if, how- 



380 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITTSM. 

ever, on certain occasions they cause you to behold 
any extraordinary effect, such is only produced by 
impious and diabolical Pacts and Conjurations, 
which form of Science ought to be called Sorcery. 
In these you will see how one should constrain 
the Spirits, and what one should ask of them; also 
how to dismiss them without hurt, and how one 
should make answer unto their demands and pre- 
sentiments. 

SPIRIT MAGIC 

All that I am about to say unto you now is not 
superfluous, because it is certain that any one who 
shall have observed with a true heart and firm reso- 
lution the advice which I have given regarding 
Spirit Magic will be instructed with so much thor- 
oughness and clearness by his Astral Guides that no 
doubtful point will present itself which he will not 
be able easily to clear up of himself. 

The student will also be sufficiently shown how 
on every or any occasion he who operateth should 
comport himself as regardeth the Spirits; that is to 
say, as their Lord and not as their Servitor ; neither 
should you be unreasonable or mean, seeing that 
you are not treating with men but with Spirits, of 
whom each one knoweth more than you all together. 

Now if you shall make some demand unto a 
Spirit and he shall refuse to execute it, first well 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 381 

and carefully examine and consider whether it be 
in the power and nature of the Spirit to whom you 
make such demand to fulfill same. For one Spirit 
knoweth not all things, and that which appertaineth 
unto the one another knoweth not. For this reason 
see that ye will take heed before endeavoring to 
force them to perform a matter. Yet if, however, 
the Inferior Spirits be disobedient you shall call 
their Superiors and remind them of the oaths which 
they have taken unto you and of the chastisement 
which awaiteth the breaking of such vows. 

And immediately, on beholding your steadfast- 
ness, they will obey you; but should they not you 
ought then to invoke your Guardian Spirit, whose 
chastisement they will quickly feel. Yet, notwith- 
standing, you should never employ harsh means in 
order to have that which you can obtain by gentle- 
ness and courtesy. 

CONSECRATED WAND 

In order to make a consecrated Wand, procure 
unto thyself a piece of birdseye maple wood the 
length of 14 inches. The same should be shaved 
and polished down until it is about five-eighths of an 
inch in diameter, the same being nearly or perfectly 
round. 

Next procure unto thyself four waxen candles, 
and on the night of Wednesday at the hour of ten, 



382 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

set these candles upon a table, two at each end of 
this piece of maple wood. Light them and let them 
burn until they are entirely or about burned out. 
The piece of maple wood the while lying on the 
table between them. 

Next procure unto thyself one-half ounce of pure 
oil of the olive, pour the same unto a small woolen 
cloth and varnish and rub the oil into this piece of 
maple wood, rubbing and polishing the same until 
it is entirely smooth. This Wand should be placed 
under thy pillow for five successive nights. 

Next procure unto thyself a piece of purple cloth, 
preferably velvet, and when not using this Wand 
keep the same rolled therein and do not allow strange 
hands to handle it, neither should thee expose or re- 
veal it to unworthy or unscrupulous persons; but 
the same should be revealed only to faithful, discreet 
and chosen friends. All of thy operations and 
knowledge of Occult things should be kept from 
prating companions whose misbelief and unworthi- 
ness hinders and disturbs the effects and result of 
every Magical operation for it is the desire of Astral 
Spirits that ye seek not the companionship of him 
who is unworthy of thy trust and faith, and I do 
here admonish and caution thee to be discreet and 
secret and neither manifest nor teach to any person 
thy work, or place, or time, nor desire, or will, ex- 
cept it be to a Master or Companion, who must like- 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 383 

wise be Silent, Faithful, Discreet, and dignified by 
nature and education. 

INVOCATION 

If during the Invocation they should appear with 
tumult and insolence fear nothing; neither give way 
to anger, but appear to make no account thereof. 
Only show them the Consecrated Wand, and if they 
continue to make a disturbance smite upon the Altar 
twice or thrice therewith and all will be still. 

It should be noted that after you shall have 
licensed them to depart, and they shall have disap- 
peared you shall take a small tray or plate and put 
perfume therein, place it in the room wherein the 
Spirits shall have appeared, and you shall perfume 
the place all around, for otherwise the Spirits might 
work some evil unto persons entering by chance 
therein. 

You shall the day after take away all the Ashes 
from the tray and cast it into a secret place; but 
above all thinks take care not to throw it either into 
a river or into the navigable sea. 

But should you desire to procure for yourself 
various other Magical Secrets leave the Ashes and 
all things in place, as I shall also describe more 
particularly later in this chapter. 

Also, should you wish it, you can retain your 
arrangements in place, and keep the room where 



384 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

you carry on your meditation and study proper and 
clean, as well as the table, which latter you may 
place in a corner, should it incommode you in the 
center of the room. For in this Apartment, if it be 
not contaminated nor profaned, you may every Sat- 
urday enjoy the presence of your Guardian Spirit, 
which is one of the most sublime things which you 
can desire in this Sacred Art. 

The good Spirits may be invocated of us, or 
by us, divers ways, and they in sundry shapes and 
manners offer themselves to us, for they openly 
speak to those that watch, and do offer themselves 
to our sight or do inform us by dreams and by 
oracle of those things which we have a great desire 
to know. Whoever therefore would call any good 
Spirit to speak or appear in sight he must particu- 
larly observe two things, one whereof is about the 
disposition of the invocant, the other concerning 
those things which are outwardly to be adhered to 
in the invocation for the conformitv of the Spirit 
to be called. 

It is necessary therefore that the invocant relig- 
iously dispose himself for the space of two days to 
such a mystery, and to conserve himself during the 
time, chasten, abstinent and to abstract himself as 
much as he can from all manner of foreign and 
secular business ; likewise he should observe fasting, 
as much as shall seem convenient to him, and let 



SOUL REINCARNATION. 385 

him daily, between sun rising and setting, being 
clothed in clean linen, seven times call upon God, 
and make a deprecation unto the Spirits to be called 
and invocated, according to the rule which I will 
teach you. The number of days of fasting and 
preparation is commonly from one to two days. 

Now, concerning the place; it must be chosen 
clean, pure, close, quiet, free from all manner of 
noise and not subject to any stranger's presence. 
This place must first of all be exorcised and conse- 
crated, and let there be a Table or Altar placed 
therein, covered with a clean white linen cloth and 
set towards the east, and on each side thereof place 
two consecrated wax-light burning candles, the flame 
thereof ought not to go out during your operation. 
In the middk of the Altar thereof let there be placed 
clean writing paper, covered with fine linen cloth, 
which is not to be raised until the end of the opera- 
tion. Then set a censer or small tray on the head of 
the Altar, wherein you shall kindle a holy fire by 
burning tincture of benzoin or wood alcohol one tea- 
spoonful, and make a precious perfume of rose petals 
every day that you pray. 

Now for your habit; you shall have a long gar- 
ment of white linen, close before and behind, which 
may come down quite over the feet, and gird your- 
self about the loins with a girdle. You shall like- 
wise have a small stand cover of pure white linen 

25 



386 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

on which must be wrote in a Purple Ink the name 
Zetragrazzation ; all of which things are to be con- 
secrated and sanctified in order by prayer. But you 
must not go into this holy place till it be first aired 
and then you may enter, and when you enter therein 
you shall make a perfume upon the altar, and then 
on your knees pray before the altar as I shall have 
directed you. 

Now when the time is come for you to invoke 
spirits, you shall fast more strictly, and fasting on 
the day following, at the rising of the sun, enter the 
holy place, using the ceremonies before you shall 
make a cross with olive oil on the forehead and anoint 
your eyes, using prayer in all these consecrations. 
You shall next pray before the Altar upon your 
knees, and then an invocation may be made as fol- 
lows : 

"In the name of the Blessed and Holy Adepts, I 
do desire ye, strong and mighty Spirits (here name 
the Spirit or Spirits you would have appear), that 
if it be the Divine Will of Him Who is called Zetra- 
grazzation, etc., the Holy Spirit, the Father, that ye 
take upon ye some shape as best becometh your 
Astral nature and appear to me visibly here in this 
place and answer my demands, in as far as I shall 
not transgress the bounds of the Divine mercy and 
goodness, by requesting unlawful knowledge, but 



SOUL KEINCAENATION". 387 

that thou wilt graciously show me what things are 
most profitable for me to know and do, to the glory 
and honor of His Divine Majesty, who liveth and 
reigneth world without end. Amen." 

"Lord, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in 
heaven; make clean my heart within me, and take 
not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Lord, by Thy 
Name I have called them, suffer them to administer 
unto me. And that all things may work together 
for Thy Honor and Glory, to Whom with Thee 
thy Son and blessed Spirit, be ascribed all might, 
majesty and dominion, world without end. Amen." 

The Invocation being properly made the Good 
Spirits will appear unto you which you desire, which 
you shall entertain with a chaste communication 
and license them to depart. 

Now the Seal which is used to invoke any Good 
Spirit must be made after the following manner: 
Either in metal conformable or in new wax mixed 
with convenient spices, or it may be made with pure 
white paper, and the outward form of it must be 
square and not circular nor triangular, or of the like 
sort, according to the rule of the Hindus, on which 
there must be written the names of the Astral Spir- 
its you wish to> invoke. And in the center of the 
Seal draw a character of six corners. In the middle 
thereof write the Name and Character of the Spirit, 
also your name, to whom the Good Spirit that is to 



388 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

be called into subject to your wishes. And about 
this character let there be placed numbers i, 2, 3, 4, 
as the Spirits you would call, many come together 
at once. But if you should call only one, neverthe- 
less there must be made four numbers wherein the 
name of the Spirit or Spirits with their characters 
are to be written. Now this seal ought to be com- 
posed on those days and hours when the Moon is in 
her increase, and if you take fortunate months, 
which are May, January and July, therewith, it will 
be better for the producing of the effect, which 
seal being rightly made in the manner I have fully 
described must be consecrated according to the rules 
above delivered. 

And this is the way of making the general seal and 
invocation of all Spirits whatever, the form whereof 
you may see in seals and plates. I will yet declare 
unto you another rite more easy to perform this 
thing : Let the Man who wishes to receive an oracle 
from a Spirit be chaste, pure and sanctified; then 
choose a place being pure, clean and covered not 
with dust or filth, and on the Lord's day in the new 
of the Moon let him enter into the place clothed 
with clothing that is clean; let him exorcise the 
place, bless it and make a circle therein with a piece 
of tailor's chalk, let there be written in the outer 
part of the Circle the Names of the Astral Spirits 
he wishes to have appear, in the inner part thereof 



SOUL EEINCAENATION". 389 

write the name of Mjura. Have the vessels for 
the perfumes ready and burning. You must now 
pray towards the East this whole Psalm: 

"Blessed are the undeflled in the way, etc." 
(Psalm cix.) Then make a fumigation and depre- 
cate the Spirits by their Names that they will appear 
unto you and reveal or discover that which you so 
earnestly desire, and do this continually for one-half 
hour. Next enter the Circle, perfume it, and anoint 
thyself with the Oil of the Olive upon the forehead, 
eyes and in the palms of both hands and upon the 
feet, then with bended knees say the Psalm aforesaid, 
with Divine and Angelical Names. Which being 
said arise and walk around the Circle from East to 
West until thou shalt receive a communication or 
impression to sit like a Hindu, legs crossed, down in 
the Circle, where thou mayest rest, and thou wilt be 
wrapped up in an ecstacy, and a Spirit will appear 
and inform thee of all things necessary to be known. 
You must observe also that in the Circle there ought 
to be four waxen candles burning at the Four Parts 
of the World, which ought not to want light for the 
space of your operation. 

And the manner of eating is this, to abstain from 
all things having a life of the wild animal, and from 
those which do proceed from them, drink only pure: 
running water ; neither is there any food or wine to> 
be taken for two hours before this operation. Let 



390 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

the perfume and the Oil of the Olive be made as is 
set forth in Exodus and other holy books of the" 
Bible. It is also to be observed that as often as you 
enter the Circle have in your right hand a seal as 
described above, upon which must be written the 
name Zetragrazzation, in the manner I have be- 
fore mentioned. Other directions for invoking 
Astral Spirits are as follows : 

Make a small book containing the names of the 
days of the week when you intend to have your 
operations ; the names of the Astral Spirits you de- 
sire to invoke; a seal as above described, which be- 
ing done thou shalt consecrate the same unto God 
and unto* the pure Spirits in the manner following : 

Thou shalt set in the destined place a small table 
covered with a white cloth, whereon thou shalt lay 
the Book opened at the seal, which should be drawn 
on the first leaf of the said Book, and having kin- 
dled a candle, which should be placed in the center 
of the table, thou shalt surround the said table with 
a circle, clothe thyself in the proper vestments, as 
directed above, and holding the Book open repeat 
upon thy knees the following prayer with great 
humility : 

THE PRAYER 

"Adonai, Elohim, El, Eheieh Asher Eheieh, 
Prince of Princes, Existence of Existences, have 



SOUL KEINCAENATION. 391 

mercy upon me, and cast Thine eyes upon Thy 
servant (here call your own name) who invoketh 
Thee most devoutly, and supplicateth Thee by Thy 
Holy and tremendous Name, Zetragrazzation, to 
be propitious and to order Thine Astral Spirits to 
come and take up their abode in this place; O, ye 
Angels and Spirits of the Stars; O, all ye Angels 
and Elementary Spirits; O, all ye Spirits present 
before the Face of God, I, the Minister and faithful 
Servant of the Most High, conjure ye, let God Him- 
self, the Existence of Existences, conjure ye to come 
and be present at this Operation, I, the Servant of 
God, most humbly entreat ye. Amen." 

After which thou shalt burn incense for fifteen 
full minutes, and thou shalt replace the Book on the 
aforesaid table, taking heed that the Fire on the 
candles be kept up continually during the operation 
and keeping thy eyes closed when praying. Repeat 
the same Ceremony for seven days, beginning with 
Saturday, and perfuming the Book each day with 
the Incense proper at the same hour and taking heed 
that the candle shall burn on the day and hour of 
your operation, after which thou shalt shut up the 
Book in a small drawer under the table, made ex- 
pressly for it, until thou shalt have occasion to use 
it, and every time that thou wishest to use it clothe 
thyself with thy vestments, kindle the candles and 



392 DEATH AND HINDU SPIK1TISM. 

repeat upon thy knees the aforesaid prayer, 
"Adonai, Elohim," etc. 

It is necessary also in the Consecration of the 
Book to summon all the Spirits whose names are 
written therein, which thou shalt do with devotion; 
and even if the Spirits appear not in the Consecra- 
tion of the Book be not thou astonished thereat, 
seeing that they are of a pure nature and conse- 
quently have much difficulty in familiarizing them- 
selves with men who are inconstant and impure, but 
the Ceremonies and Characters being correctly car- 
ried out, devoutly and with perseverance, they will 
be constrained to come, and it will at length happen 
that at thy first invocation thou wilt not be able to 
see and communicate with them. But I advise thee 
to undertake nothing unclean or impure, for then thy 
importunity, far from attracting them will only serve 
to keep them from thee; and it will be thereafter 
exceedingly difficult for thee to attract them for use 
for pure ends. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

SACRED MAGIC 

i. Take heed before all things to perform no 
Magical Operation whatsoever, or Invocations of 
the Spirits unless necessary on the Sabbath Day, 
during the whole period of your life, seeing that 
that day is consecrated unto God, and is the day on 
which you should repose and sanctify yourself and 
you should solemnize it by prayers. 

2. Keep yourself as you would from the Eternal 
Fire, from manifesting unto any living being that 
which your Guardian Spirit shall have confided unto 
you, excepting unto him who hath given unto you 
the Operation, unto whom you have, as it were, a 
greater obligation than unto your own father. 

3. As far as lieth in your power take heed in no 
way to make use of this Art against your neighbor, 
except for a just Vengeance; although I counsel you 
even in this particular to imitate God, who par- 
doneth even you yourself, and there is not in the 
world a more meritorious action than to pardon. 

4. In the case of your Astral Guide dissuading 
you from some Operation, and forbidding you to do 



394 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

the same, keep well from becoming obstinate therein, 
for you would in such a case ever repent it. 

5. Fly all kinds of (Evil) Science, Magic and 
Enchantment, because they be all Diabolical Inven- 
tions ; also put no trust in books which teach them, 
though in appearance they may seem reliable to you, 
for these be nets which the perfidious and evil 
stretcheth out to take you. 

"The soul that turneth after such as have familiar 
spirits, and after wizards, I will even set my face 
against that soul, and will cut him off from among 
his people." (Lev. xx. 6.) 

"A man also or a woman that hath a familiar 
spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to 
death ; they shall stone them with stones ; their blood 
shall be upon them." (Lev. xx. 27.) 

6. In conversing with Spirits, Good or Evil, 
never employ words which you do not understand, 
because even so will you have shame and hurt. 

7. You will never demand of your Astral Guide 
any Symbol wherewith to operate for an Evil end, 
seeing that you would grieve him. You will find 
only too many persons who will beseech you to do 
thus ; see that you do it not. 

8. Accustom yourself as much as possible to 
purity of body and cleanliness of raiment, seeing 
that this is very necessary ; for the good Spirits love 
purity. 



SOUL EEINCAKNATIOST. 395 

9. As far as possible shun the employment of 
your Magical Powers for others in evil things, but 
first well consider him to whom you would render 
a service; because it often happeneth that in doing 
service unto another one worketh evil for oneself. 

10. In no way attempt to procure the Operation 
of the Higher Grade of Astral Spirits unless you 
have extreme need thereof, seeing that these spirits 
be so far above you that it is useless for you to wish 
to compare yourself unto them, you being nothing in 
comparison of them who are the Angels of God. 

11. If the Operations can be performed by the 
Astral Spirits it is not necessary to employ others 
therein. 

12. Though it should be an easy matter for you 
to employ your Familiars to annoy your neighbors, 
seek to abstain therefrom, unless it were to repress 
the insolence of such as might attempt aught against 
you personally. Never keep the Familiar Spirits 
in idleness, and should you wish to give one over 
unto any person, see that such person be distin- 
guished and meritorious, for they love not to serve 
those of base and common condition. But should 
such person unto whom you give them have made 
some express Pact (with Spirits) in such case the 
Familiar Spirits will fly in haste to serve him. 

13. These instructions of this present Operation 
ought to be read and reread an infinitude number 



396 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

of times so that in the space of two weeks before 
commencing he who operateth should be fully in- 
structed and informed therein; and if he be not a 
Jew he should further be conversant with many of 
the customs and ceremonies which this Operation 
demandeth, so as to become accustomed unto that 
retirement which is so necessary and useful. 

14. Should he who performeth this Operation 
during the Six Months or Moons commit volun- 
tarily any mortal sin prohibited by the Tables of 
the Law be certain that he will never receive this 
Wisdom. 

15. Sleep in the daytime is entirely forbidden, 
unless absolutely requisite, owing to some infirmity, 
or to old age, or to debility of constitution, for God 
is always willing to employ mercy towards man- 
kind because of their infirmities. 

16. If you have not the fixed intention of con- 
tinuing the Operation I counsel you on no account 
to commence it, because the Lord doth not care to 
be mocked, and He chastiseth with corporeal mala- 
dies those who make a mock of Him. Howbeit, he 
who is hindered from continuing through some un- 
foreseen accident, sinneth in no way. 

17. It is possible for him who hath passed 
seventy years of age to undertake this Operation. 
Thus also was it the custom in the true and ancient 



SOUL EEINCAENATION. 397 

Hindu law concerning the Priesthood. Also he 
should not be less than twenty years old. 

1 8. You shall not permit the Astral Spirits 
to familiarize themselves too much with you, 
through your disputing and arguing with them; 
because they will propound so many affairs and 
things at once as to confound and trouble the mind. 

19. With the Astral Spirits you should not 
make use of the Symbols, but if you desire any- 
thing command them aloud to perform it. Never 
commence many Operations at once and in the same 
time, but when you have finished one then begin 
another, until you are perfect in the practice; for 
an Apprentice Artist doth not become a Master sud- 
denly, but little by little. 

20. Without reasons of the very last impor- 
tance the Four Princes or the Eight Sub-Princes 
should never be summoned, because we must make 
a great distinction between these and the others, 
who are inferior to them. 

21; In operating, as rarely as possible insist upon 
the Spirits appearing visibly, and thus you will 
work all the better, for it should suffice you for them 
to say and do what you wish. 

22. All prayers, Orations, Invocations and Con- 
jurations, and in fact everything you have to say, 
should be pronounced aloud and clearly, without, 



398 DEATH AND HINDU SPIRITISM. 

however, shouting like a madman, but speaking 
clearly and naturally and pronouncing distinctly. 

23. During the Moons you shall sweep the Ora- 
tory every Sabbath eve, and keep it strictly clean, 
for it is a place dedicated unto the Holy and Pure 
Spirits. 

24. Take heed that you commence no Operation 
at night if it be important, unless the need be very 
pressing. 

25. Your only object during your whole life 
should be to shun as far as possible an ill-regulated 
life, and especially the vices of debauchery, gluttony 
and drunkenness. 

26. Having completed the Operation, and being 
now the Disciple of the True Wisdom, you shall 
fast one day before commencing to put any operation 
into practice. 

2J, Every year you should make a commemora- 
tion of the Signal benefit which the Lord conferred 
upon you. At such time fasting, praying and hon- 
oring your Guardian Spirit that day with your 
whole strength. 

28. During the Days on which you con- 
strain the Spirits you shall fast, for this is essential, 
so that when you are working you may find yourself 
freer and more tranquil both in body and mind. 

29. Note that the facts are to be understood as 
being given to the true Disciple and not otherwise. 



SOUL EEINCAKNATION. 399 

30. Keep as an indubitable precept never to give 
this Operation unto a Monarch, because Solomon 
was the first who abused it; and if you should do 
the contrary both you and your successors would 
alike lose the Grace hereof. With regard to this 
command, I myself having been sought by the rich 
man, gave him willingly the best Astral Spirit 
which I had, but I steadily refused to give him the 
Operation, and it should not be given unto Emperors, 
Kings or other Sovereigns unless they are sincere. 

31. You may assuredly give, but it is not permis- 
sible to sell this Operation for great profit, for this 
would be to abuse the Grace of the Lord who hath 
given unto you, and should you act contrariwise unto 

' this you would lose its control. 

32. Should you perform this Operation in a 
town you should take a house which is not at all 
overlooked by any one; seeing that in this present 
day curiosity is so strong that you ought to be 
upon your guard, and there ought to be a garden 
(adjoining the house) wherein you can take exer- 
cise. 

33. Take well heed during the Moons or Months 
to lose no blood from your body, except that which 
the expulsive virtue in you may expel naturally of 
its own accord. 

34. Finally, during the whole time, you shall 
touch no dead body of an animal of any description 



400 DEATH AND HINDU SPIEITISM. 

35. You shall eat during this whole period, 
neither the flesh nor the blood of any wild animal, 
and this you shall do for a certain particular reason. 

36. You shall bind by an Oath him unto whom 
you shall give this Operation, neither to give nor 
sell it unto any avowed Atheist or Blasphemer of 
God. 

37. You shall fast for three days before giving 
the Operation unto any, and he who shall receive 
it shall do likewise ; and he also shall hand over unto 
you at the same time the sum of Ten Golden Florins, 
or their value, which you should with your own 
hand distribute unto poor persons whom you shall 
charge to repeat the Psalms, "Miserere Mei Deus," 
etc., "Have mercy upon me, O God," and the De 
Profundis, etc., "Out of the Depths." 

38. It will be a good thing, and one which will 
facilitate the Operation, for you to repeat all the 
Psalms of David, seeing that they contain great 
power and virtue, and to say them at least twice 
in the week. 



Zbc Enb 



ot 



Zhe Book of Death